LOVED TO THE END
Jessica Albritton, Family Connections Minister, LHBC
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. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, 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, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. 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. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.”
Back in the time Jesus walked the earth it was common for people to wear sandals or go barefoot in their day to day. Because of the climate and the proximity to the Mediterranean Sea, the heat from the day and the dusty roads, you can imagine the results. Dirty smelly feet. Common practice in that time was to have a servant stationed at the door to wash the feet of all those that entered the home. Foot-washing in that time, much like eating and sleeping, was an essential daily activity that one could not do without. You see, tables were low to the ground and when it came time to eat people would recline at the tables with their feet tucked beneath them. I don’t know about you but the last thing I want near my food is dirty smelly feet. While extremely necessary, foot-washing was not at all glamorous. In fact, foot-washing was among the lowliest of tasks performed by servants.
In John chapter 13 we see an account where Jesus washed His disciples feet. Jesus and the disciples gathered one evening for a meal just before Passover. The only hitch, no one was there to wash their feet. Now Jesus was an important figure, a well-known teacher, and had just made quite the spectacle when He entered the city. He was what we consider “the guest of honor.” Yet no one was there to wash His feet before dinner. You would think that one of the disciples would have jumped up and offered to wash the feet of Jesus, I mean they were all constantly bickering amongst themselves vying for the title of “favorite disciple.” But alas, no one volunteered to do it so after a while Jesus gets up, girds Himself with a towel, assumes the role of a lowly slave, and begins the humble task of washing His disciples feet. It has always struck me as odd that Jesus washed His disciples feet, I mean this was the most lowly of tasks, but what is even more bizarre is the fact that Jesus washed Judas’ feet. In verses 2-3 we see that the devil had already taken up residence in Judas’ heart and Jesus knew it. Jesus was aware that He was to be betrayed by this disciple just a few hours later, yet He still shared a meal with him, and not only that but also stooped low to serve him. Jesus, the one who has power and authority over everything on earth, the King of kings and Lord of lords, made the radical decision to crawl on his hands and knees among a bunch of filthy feet, and wash the feet of a man that would turn Him over to officials that would sentence Him to death. Man, that’s some deep love.
I am often reminded of that when I fail Jesus, when I mess up big I think of Judas. I believe wholeheartedly that had Judas repented after his betrayal he would have been welcomed back into the loving arms of Jesus! You see, Jesus doesn’t love like us. We love until we are betrayed. Jesus continued to the cross despite betrayal. We love until we are forsaken. Jesus loved through forsakenness. We love up to a limit. Jesus loves to the end.
What about you? Have you failed Jesus? Well I have great news! Jesus doesn’t love like us! He loves with a relentless love that cannot be fathomed on this side of heaven! Repent today from your failures, from the ways you don’t measure up, lay them at His feet, and receive the love that Jesus feely offers!
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Heavenly Father, I am in awe and wonder of Your deep love! You love in a way that doesn’t make sense, in a way that is completely countercultural to the world in which we live. Lord, thank You for Your great love! Help me to love like You! In Jesus name, amen!
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
The Lord is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.