It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love. John 13:1
The example Jesus sets for us in his relationships with others is remarkable. It is at the same time inspiring and overwhelming. It’s hard sometimes, I think, for us to fully appreciate the role Jesus takes on here in washing the feet of his disciples.
Verse one captures my attention fully and challenges me to try and ascertain the position he puts himself in because of how it ends:
“…he now showed them the full extent of his love.”
Could it really be that big of a deal? Admittedly, no one wants to wash someone else’s feet, but really…”the full extent of his love?”
How does washing those dirty feet show the full extent of Jesus’ love?
It’s my understanding that this was typically the role of a household servant. Never would the owner of a house do this for his guests let along the master teacher and Son of God do it for the ever-wavering disciple!
And yet Jesus does.
It brings to mind the words of Paul in Phillipans 2:
“[He] made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant…”
Jesus didn’t just wash some feet. He saw an opportunity to serve those he was in relationship with and he did it. Not for accolades or to be seen as humble, but as an act of love. He did what everyone needed done and no one else was offering to do.
This to me is at the heart of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. To serve out of love. To show people the full extent of our love by how we act, what we give up for their benefit, what we concede for their comfort, what we do for their pleasure.
To truly serve as Jesus served is not just to do what’s required. It is to go beyond to what’s an extravagant expression of love. To give generously of ourselves for the sole purpose of expressing our love for the other without regard for the appearance it may give of us.
When was the last time I showed another the full extent of my love through my actions?
It’s easy to say I love people, when did I last show it with my service to them?
“Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” John 13:17