“When Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose,.. laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel… He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, ‘Lord, do you wash my feet?’ Jesus answered him, ‘What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.’ Peter said to him, ‘You shall never wash my feet.’ Jesus answered him, ‘If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.’ Simon Peter said to him, ‘Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!’ Jesus said to him, ‘The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.’”
“When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, ‘Do you understand what I have done to you?.. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you… If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.'” John 13:1-10,12,14-15,17
His hour had come. The culmination of His purpose on earth was drawing nigh. In divine knowledge, Jesus understood Judas would soon act on the devil’s prompt to betray Him, and what did He do? Go out and enjoy His final moments of freedom on earth? Seek to be celebrated by His friends? Get alone to pamper Himself in preparation for tough times ahead? No, He abased Himself to wash His beloved disciples’ feet, a final act of intimate selflessness, a final illustration of the forgiveness and cleansing He had come to offer His own. Truly, he loved them to the end.
Life’s clock keeps ticking, and we know we can never undo or repeat our moments and hours. How are we spending them? Arbitrarily or intentionally? For ourselves or Jesus? In temporal or eternal pursuits? On things that won’t last or relationships that will? For personal attention and accolades or the glory and honor of God? (Matthew 6:19-21)
“Only one life, ‘twill soon be past; only what’s done for Christ shall last.” ~C.T.Studd (1860-1931)
The Lord has everlasting blessing for those who faithfully labor for Him, forgive others with abandon, and serve for His sake to the end. Will we be deliberate to emulate His example? Will we take up His towel? On whom will we speak benediction? Where and with whom can we serve and love well today? (Matthew 25:21; Ephesians 4:32; Revelation 14:13)
Father, with each day and year You’ve given me, help me love You to the end through selfless service to others. I want to love others as You have loved me, to the exaltation of Your glory and Name. (John 13:34)