Did you know today is called Maundy Thursday? I remember when I was little I used to think people were saying Monday Thursday. I thought they were confused about what day of the week it was. Were they calling it Monday Thursday because it felt like a Monday even though it was really Thursday? Clearly you can see why this would be confusing to a young person. It’s actually called Maundy Thursday because the word Maundy means the washing of the feet.
While today commemorates the Last Supper that took place before the crucifixion of Christ, there was also a foot washing that took place in that upper room. You can read about it in John 13:1-17. Jesus, who by riding on a a donkey colt had declared Himself a king, took off His outer garments and washed the feet of His disciples.
There are three things we should take away from this segment of Scripture:
- The Creator of everything humbled Himself to serve others. Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords, could have demanded someone else wash His feet, but He chose to serve His disciples instead. He never ceased being the King of kings just because He was on His knees washing others’ feet. His identity didn’t change at all. We would do well to remember the same about ourselves. When we serve, we don’t cease being sons and daughters of the King and suddenly become servants. On the contrary, we are still royalty, we just chose to serve, just like Jesus.
- Peter refused to have his feet washed because he didn’t want the Lord to serve him. He had a lesson to learn that night and so do we. We must humble ourselves before the Lord and allow Him to have His way. We don’t allow Jesus to wash us because we are worthy; we allow Jesus to wash us because He is worthy of our obedience.
- One of my favorite parts of this story, and it usually goes overlooked. Jesus washed all of His disciples feet, even Judas. He didn’t pause when He came to Judas and say,
Umm, well, I’d like to wash your feet, but you’re a traitor and I don’t wash traitor’s feet.”
Quite the opposite happened. Jesus lovingly served Judas, just as He did the others, and washed his feet, even knowing Judas would be the one to hand Him over to the Pharisees. We like to make excuses for why we treat people who hurt us poorly, but there isn’t an excuse for it. Jesus told us clearly in John 13:14,
Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you so should wash one another’s feet.”
There wasn’t an exclusion of any kind here. He included everyone when He served. He didn’t pick and choose. We’re called to do the same. We’re called to wash the feet of our difficult boss, our hurtful relatives who treats us like we’re beneath them, our back stabbing friend, someone of a different faith, you fill in the blank.
Jesus didn’t just love and serve those who loved and served Him. He came for all men, even Judas, and in Luke 10:37 He’s commanded us to “go and do likewise” in our world.
Who do you need to serve today?
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