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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

John 13:2, 4-5

And supper being ended, [...] Jesus [...] rose from supper, laid aside His garments [...] and began to wash the disciples’ feet.
John 13:2, 4-5

The Holy Spirit moved the Apostle John to devote one-quarter of his gospel to the final events and conversations that occurred on one night: the night before the most important event in all of history, the crucifixion of Jesus. The first event of that night that John documents is the washing of the disciples’ feet.

The careful attention to the detail that John gives of this event indicates very clearly what Jesus was doing was a very important teaching moment. Why does Jesus wash feet at this particular time, the night before his crucifixion?

Jesus was about to send His disciples into the world as His representatives and bearers of the message of the gospel. One of the greatest obstacles to fulfilling this new mission was their pride. We know from the other gospels there had already been a private discussion that night about who was the greatest, and so no one offered to do the customary feet washing usually done by the least of the servants. Jesus needed to teach them to humbly and joyfully serve others lest their pride obscure the gospel. This lesson was so important that Jesus saved it to the very last moment to underscore its strategic significance.

Afterward, Jesus said to them, "If I then, your Lord and Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet, for I have given you an example that you should do as I have done to you" (John 13:14-15). We should ask God today to probe our hearts and disclose any trace of pride that would make us hesitant to joyfully serve others.

Tom Day



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