Day 6: John 13:1-5, 23
It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.
The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus.
Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God;
so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist.
After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him.
I have always thought I understood this story. It always seemed to straight forward. Jesus washed his disciples’ feet to show what a true servant is. It was a physical demonstration of the whole “last shall be first” thing. It was like he was trying to remove any chance for them (and us) to feel too important to serve. If the son of God is willing to wash their nasty feet, then they should be willing to do anything for their fellow humans.
Now I’m not so sure that is all that was going on there. One line has me second guessing most of what I have understood. “Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.” It is easy to read this bit and think it is foreshadowing to the crucifixion, but it doesn’t seem that way to me.
I don’t really understand how the foot washing is showing the full extent of his love. The order that John puts this passage makes the foot washing seem like a bigger deal than I thought it was. Maybe there is more to it we aren’t seeing? I don’t really know, but it has bugged me for the last two days since I read it.