Cross sculpture on campus



Washed by Jesus

Lent 2022

Read John 13:1-17

1 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2 During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him, 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, 4 rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. 5 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” 7 Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” 8 Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” 9 Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” 10 Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

12 When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

John is the only gospel writer to share the account of Jesus washing His disciples’ feet. With it, John continues to add layer after layer foreshadowing Jesus’ death.

Notice that Jesus doesn’t “take off” his clothes; he lays them down and takes them up again—just as he will do with his life. Jesus carried out this humble service, “knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands,” a reminder that God’s power and glory will be demonstrated in his ultimate act of service and sacrifice. Of course, we cannot forget the act of washing itself. “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.”

All disciples of Christ are washed in the precious blood of Jesus which makes them clean. We come to the cross time and time again. Perhaps we are tempted to see this as “the same old thing.” But Jesus reminds us that, without this, we have no share with him. His ways might seem simple, but they are perfect, and enough for all that we need.

Prayer: Lord, may this example of your humble service remind me that I have been washed and made clean in your blood. Help me to love others with the same humility and self-sacrifice. Amen.

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