Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet - by Jeff Byerley
The Study John 13:1-17 - Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet
We noted that like much of John's Gospel, this account is not found in the other gospels. John's Gospel also does not cover some obvious passages that are recorded in the others. John's Gospel was written later and possibly he was focusing on particular events not recorded in the others.
13:1-5 The Example of Jesus' Humility
We found this passage to be quite extraordinary for reasons perhaps beyond the obvious.
1. The Father had given all things into His hands but Jesus still took on the role of the lowest of slaves.
2. Also extraordinary was the fact that Jesus washed the feet of Judas Iscariot, who was present (v.26). Truly he loved all the disciples to the end. And us too!
13:6-11 Only Jesus Can Wash Our Souls Clean
The washing was not only an example to follow, but something else of great spiritual importance. It was a symbolic act showing that we all need to accept that only Jesus can wash our souls clean.
The disciples were suppose to be Jesus' servants. Yet none of them had thought about rendering this service to him, yet alone to each other and apparently not even for themselves. (Indeed, they were apparently arguing among themselves as to who was the greatest! - Luke 22:24).
1. It was also a reminder to us, that sometimes we have to swallow our pride and let others do some necessary act for us, that we cannot do for ourselves.
2. In verse 7 Jesus said “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.” Often we pray but things seem to go contrary to what we think they should and we do not understand what's happening. Our duty is to obey God regardless. We will be given an understanding later.
13:12-17 Following Christ
Observe 3 things:
1. Jesus not only gives us his example to follow, but takes us into his confidence to explain his ways. So we should be diligent in studying the scriptures!
2. If Jesus took on such a humble role, followed by his sacrifice on the cross, we should also so seek to serve, not looking for any reward other than knowing such love pleases God and helps others along the way.
3. Knowing and obeying these things will give us a blessing, a deep joy, a shalom, the peace of Christ that the world cannot take away.
The passage is enclosed for those interested.