He Washed Their Feet

John 13  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 6
It was Easter time, just before the Passover. Jesus sat down at the supper table, and there were twelve men there with Him.
After supper was over, the men were watching their dear Master to see what He would do next. But not all twelve of them loved Him. There was one who had a dark secret in his heart, which Satan himself had put there. Satan knew that one man’s heart was not looking to Jesus, but, rather, that he was thinking about money, and that was the very spot where Satan could plant his seed of wickedness. What do you think about when others are looking to Jesus and praising and worshipping Him?
Jesus knew Judas was thinking about money, but nothing changed the love in His heart. He took off His outer coat and then tied a towel around His waist, poured water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet. They were dirty feet, soiled by the unpaved roads of Jerusalem, and it was usually the task of a slave to wash and dry them. But on that day, it was Jesus, King of kings and Lord of lords, who stooped to wash off the dirt, one foot at a time, and leave them dry and comfortable. Jesus was teaching the disciples a lesson.
This was a hard lesson for Peter to learn. He said to Jesus, “Thou shalt never wash my feet!” But Peter had to learn that we cannot share the joy of the Lord’s company if we cling to the dirt and filth of the world we are passing through.
Peter really wanted the Lord’s company more than anything, so he said, “Not my feet only, but also my hands and my head” (John 13:99Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. (John 13:9)). Wrong again, Peter! If Jesus has saved you and made you forever clean, what you need is everyday cleansing from the unclean things around you if you want to enjoy the Lord’s company.
That once-forever sin cleansing can be done by Jesus only, but the daily cleansing we can do for one another. Let’s use the water of the Word to help one another.
“Ye are clean,” said Jesus, “but not all.”
Nobody else knew, but Jesus knew that Judas had never received that once-forever sin cleansing. Judas did not love Jesus; he loved money.
Did Jesus Himself ever have His feet washed? Yes He did. He was invited to dinner at the house of a proud Pharisee, and while He was at the table, a sinful woman came behind Him and washed His feet with her tears. Now God did not write the Bible in English. He wrote the New Testament in the Greek language, and He uses a different word for washing. It was not to wash away the dirt of the streets, but rather to refresh His holy feet. Then she wiped His feet with the hairs of her head. And she left them not only washed and dried, but she poured sweet-smelling perfume over His blessed feet.
The proud Pharisee was not pleased at all with this woman, but Jesus knew what was in the heart of that sinful woman, just as He knew what was in the heart of Judas, and in your heart too. And Jesus said, “Her sins, which are many, are forgiven.”
Why didn’t Judas have that wonderful forgiveness too? Because he never repented and came to Jesus to receive it, and so he took his sins into eternity with him. Are you forgiven? And if so, do you know the joy of the Lord’s company every day? And do you help others to be clean from the world’s dirt and filth? This is what Jesus wants you to do.
“If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them” (John 13:1717If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. (John 13:17)). “Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered” (Romans 4:77Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. (Romans 4:7)).