Bethesda News

Holy Week Devotion 2019 – Day 3

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

John 13:1-17 (ESV): Jesus Washes His Disciples’ Feet

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.

Reflection by Joyce Crossett, Board Member

Jesus provided a powerful example of serving others when he washed his disciples’ dirty feet. Jesus washed all of his disciples’ feet, including Judas.  Not only did Jesus show how to serve each other, but that such service would always be appropriate no matter how those on the receiving end respond.

What an awesome gesture! Jesus lovingly washes the traitor’s feet, well aware those same feet would lead Jesus’ enemies to come and arrest him. I can almost see Jesus looking into Judas’s eyes, while Judas trying to avert his own.

So often we want to be appreciated for our gracious acts of service. We look for something in return, but a “servant spirit” is a giving-with‑no-strings-attached spirit. In this case, washing the traitor’s feet didn’t turn the man’s heart back to God. But Jesus, knowing it wouldn’t change Judas’s mind, washed his feet anyway. That’s grace. Grace gives without expecting a return.

The only way we can serve is to allow the greatest of all serve us. This puts us in our place. It gives us the ability to see that we are no better or worse than anyone else. And then we see that we don’t serve by will-power and strength. We serve out of brokenness.

It is our servant spirit we must bring in loving and serving all our guests at Bethesda Mission.  We may be used to reconcile them to the Lord. We are to be Jesus’ hands…and feet. We can show who Jesus is, by our actions of reflecting his love, grace, humbleness and compassion. And always remembering, it is Jesus, who washed feet, that calls us to do the same.

Reflection Questions

  1. Jesus sets the example of washing his disciples’ feet in an act of humility and service. Can you think of ways that you can wash someone else’s feet, both physically and spiritually?
  2. Who is Christ calling you to love through a dark hour?
  3. What did Jesus mean when he told Peter, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me” (verse 8)?

Prayer Guide

  1. Pray that we would not just know the things Jesus taught, but that we would also do them (verse 17).
  2. Pray that God would show you who He wants you to share His love with this week.
  3. Pray that the guest who are in pain would turn to Christ and allow Him to heal their wounds.

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