Posted by: randydunning | January 13, 2008

Day 13 | John 13


Text: John 13

Key Verse: 10, 14-15
“Jesus said to him, ‘He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.'”
“If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another?s feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you.”

We are to be foot washers, or the modern-day equivalent.

This is some humbling stuff, especially when we understand the example of Jesus. In the last chapter (12) he demonstrates that he is the King of Glory. In this chapter he demonstrates that he is the servant of all. And Jesus firmly calls us to follow after him and do likewise. He asks us to meet the basic needs of others with such an attitude of humility that we’ll be willing to do so regardless of the circumstances and what that requires of us.

Unfortunately, it is not the type of service or specific job that causes us a problem, it is whom we’re called to serve. We’ll do things willingly for clean people (read: deserving people). But it is challenging when God asks us to serve unclean or undeserving people.

V. 10 clearly states that not all the disciples were considered “clean” by Jesus. One certainly was not. But nowhere do we read that Judas was excluded from the podiatriac cleansing. Jesus washed the feet of both the clean and the unclean. And he did so in the same place and at the same time.

Jesus expects us to do likewise. Why? Because Jesus didn’t come to judge people (John 12:47), he came to serve them (Mark 10:45) and make the kingdom known to them (Matthew 4:23). He knew that with some he would be received and with others he would be rejected. But he gave everyone equal opportunity.

I need to not discriminate, especially since I have no idea who will receive and who will reject Jesus. Oh, I might think I’ll know who is clean and who is unclean, but I’ve been gravely mistaken on this before. It is best if I just do the serving and proclaiming like Jesus did and leave the decisions to others and the judging to God.

Lord, may I stop basing my willingness to serve people on my perceptions of their merit or status (clean or unclean) and instead just serve all people freely and liberally with a glad heart, trusting You to take care of the state of their soul.



  1. What I found very interesting is the way Jesus reveals Judas in verses 26 and 27. It is this long, drawn-out process in which Jesus seems discrete and abstract. I have a feeling the intensity of the moment is very much lost by trying to put this incident into words. I picture Jesus saying, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish,” and then waiting. Maybe they continued with the teaching, or maybe they sat in silence. At any rate, it had to be agonizing for all involved. Finally, when he does give the bread to Judas Iscariot, the disciples do not understand the magnitude of the betrayal.

    It is interesting that the disciples were so interested in who was going to betray Jesus, but yet they did not understand the magnitude of that betrayal. Perhaps each disciple was thinking of a sin they continued to commit, and perhaps Jesus secretly knew of that sin. Perhaps every doubt that plagued each man’s mind was running over and over again. Perhaps Satan was using this intense moment to attack and challenge each disciple’s faith in this man Jesus.

    So when Judas is revealed, each disciple probably imagined Judas was hiding something on this level. They really had no idea what was going to happen, and it was unfathomable, even though Jesus had spoke about this moment for quite a while.

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