Jesus knew that these were his last moments with his friends. He knew that the next day would be the worst of his life. These friends would watch him suffer and die in only a matter of hours. He must have known that they would look back on this night, the night before his crucifixion and place great emphasis on these, his last words and actions with them.
John 13:1 in the New Living Translation describes what happened here so perfectly. It says that Jesus, “showed the disciples the full extent of his love.” And how did he do that? By, serving them, and offering them belonging and grace in a gesture that is so beautiful and so symbolic of what he would do on the cross the very next day.
Jesus, the Savior of the world, the one who these disciples had watched raise the dead and heal the blind, walk on water and turn water into wine, the one who they had gladly followed and left all else for, bends down and does something so humble and so powerful all at once.
“If I don’t wash you, you won’tbelong to me,” he says in verse 8. And so, he washes them one by one and tells them that they are clean (vs. 10). Shows them that they are his.
The full extent of Jesus love was shown in humble service, unearned grace, and an open invitation.
Then when it is all finished, when they’ve all found cleansing and belonging at the hands of Jesus, he tells them this in John 13:34-35
“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
That goes for us as well. We must love the way Jesus loved. We must extend service, grace, and an open invitation to those around us to know the depth of belonging and freedom and cleansing that comes from Christ Jesus our Lord.
Find someone to serve today, specifically someone who doesn’t know Jesus yet.
Invite someone to experience belonging in Jesus through attending our Easter Gathering with you.
Pray that through the service and love you offer to those around you, people would experience the love of Jesus.
Pray that people in your life would respond positively to Jesus invitation to find belonging in his cleansing love.
Pray for strength to represent the love of Jesus well.