October 3, 2016
I find myself now sitting with the disciples and Jesus on the last night of His earthly life. Here is where I find an extreme act of love, which may not seem like much at first. Nevertheless, Jesus exhibits that which only a slave of the house would do for the guests. In so doing, according to v. 1 of chapter 13, Jesus shows them “the full extent of His love.”
Through this humble act, Jesus shows the disciples much more than a simple act of washing of dirt from feet. Jesus models compassion, love, servanthood and humility to name a few. I, as a Christian, a Christ follower, am called to be one who serves, loves, and is humble toward others, looking out for them, caring for them, wanting the best for them…to be a servant to others. I am reminded of God’s amazing love for me, a sinner, through this act of foot washing. Jesus, the One who deserves to be served, came to serve those who don’t deserve it.
In John 13 I see the full extent of Jesus’ love. But then, like a polar opposite, I see the full extent of sinful man. Judas Iscariot is an agent of the devil who betrays Jesus to the Romans. Here in John’s gospel we see some details about Judas at the Passover Feast which we don’t see in the other gospels: “troubled in spirit” (v. 21); Peter relying on John to get info from Jesus (vv. 22-26); Judas and dipping bread (vv. 26-39). Another cool aspect about John’s gospel is also found in v. 30. It’s a spiritual truth as much as a reference to time, “and it was night.” Judas was not walking “in the light” of Christ. Yet Judas isn’t the only disciple that reveals the extreme opposite extent from Christ’s love.
Jesus reveals how Peter will also fall away by denying (disowning) Him three times before the rooster crows. This truth is mentioned while Peter is stating his love and dedication for Jesus. Yet the sad reality is, Peter (and I) can say one thing and mean another. Oh, to walk in darkness, to deny my Lord . . . before morning . . . before the sunrise . . . still in darkness . . . not walking in the light. This is when Peter did it. The chapter ends in this darkness. Is there hope? Is there any hope for Peter, or for me, or any of us who find ourselves at one point taking a strong stand FOR Jesus yet find ourselves falling oh so quickly afterwards? (Looking forward to chapter 14)
PRAYER: Help me, O Lord, to appreciate the full extent of Your love for me. Forgive me for my sin and help me to follow You, no matter where it leads. Give me strength to exhibit Your love in this broken, dark world of sin. Amen.