So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him. John 12:4 & 5
“I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.” John 12:15
When Judas had eaten the bread, Satan entered into him. Then Jesus told him, “Hurry and do what you’re going to do.” None of the others at the table knew what Jesus meant. Since Judas was their treasurer, some thought Jesus was telling him to go and pay for the food or to give some money to the poor. So Judas left at once, going out into the night. John 12:27-30
I get why the emphasis is generally on Peter here. I mean, most of the text discusses Peter’s conversation with Jesus about who is going to serve whom. With all of that focus on Peter and Jesus, I think something gets lost in the story. And it’s much more powerful to me than the exchange between Peter and Jesus.
Jesus washed Judas’s feet.
Let that sink in for a moment. Jesus knew that Judas was his betrayer. He knew what was going to happen and that this “friend” of his was going to have a hand in making that happen.
And he still washed Judas’s feet.
Washing your friends’ feet….serving people who are most like you? No problem. I have that down pretty well, I think. Washing the feet of those who are not like us but not exactly hostile to us? That might be difficult at times, especially when you have to deal with other people’s messes, but it’s manageable. I get it. I understand that.
Washing the feet…serving…someone who is planning on betraying and destroying you? Wiping the caked-on dust from between the toes of someone who will become your enemy – someone who will lead you to your death? Not so sure if I can do that. It definitely doesn’t come naturally. It definitely takes an act of love.
But Jesus washed Judas’s feet. And he commands us to do the same.
I don’t know about you, but that’s a pretty tough thing to do.
Sacred Art Pilgrim