Now you might ask yourself, “How will I know what I am supposed to do? How can I wash the feet of others?”
I am so glad you asked! I believe these things are different for each one of us and the people God places in our lives.
The important thing is to be open to God and willing to follow His leading. Jesus was telling His people to give their lives for one another in humble service. Even if it meant sacrificing their lives to do so.
He often brings people and situations into our lives that are not anything we would think of or choose. But it’s not up to us! It’s His ministry and His service! We are called to be His willing servants! Not afraid to get down and dirty for the Lord!
I can think of two calls God placed on my life, neither I would have chosen willingly if I had known what I know now. I’m too selfish if truth be known.
But I also would not give up what I have learned and how I have grown as a child of God. I have gained wisdom and understanding of who God is.
I know what He can accomplish through a willing and obedient heart.
Jesus went on to say (verse 17) that, “Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”
He meant there is a special blessing for those who not only agree that humble service is Christ’s way, but who also follow through and do it.
Jesus Exposes Judas
Jesus says in verse 18 that though this was true of most of them, He was not referring to all of them. He was fully aware that there was one in His inner circle who was not serving with a heart of humility, but rather for personal gain. And this person and his evil deeds would be exposed.
In fact, Jesus goes on to expose the fact that there was one among them who would share in the breaking of bread as a sign of being a beloved guest at the Master’s table but would soon lift his heel against Jesus.
This person would turn against Jesus. And Jesus said He was telling them now before it happens so that they will believe. He was the one God sent to seek and save the lost. And though He would suffer and die as a criminal on the cross, that was not the end of the story.
The disciples would be confused by Judas’ betrayal. They would not understand at the time why Jesus would be nailed to a cross. But, in time, it would all come together. In time, it would make sense. But they would have to exercise their faith and trust in His words and remember His acts.
After Jesus had said this, John tells us that Jesus became troubled in spirit and testified, “I tell you the truth, one of you is going to betray me.”
Jesus was outraged at sin and the price it would cost to redeem a lost and broken world. And probably deeply disturbed by Judas’ actions.
The disciples were shocked by this news and stared at one another. They had no idea who the perpetrator was.
And prompted by Peter who was sitting next to him, John asked Jesus the question looming in the room, “Lord who is it?” Jesus answered John’s question by saying, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.”
Then Jesus picked up the piece of bread and dipped it in the dish. He handed it to Judas who was seated at Jesus’ left, which was the place of honor.
Up until this point, Judas had every opportunity to repent. Had Judas looked into Jesus’ face and confessed his sin as Jesus washed his feet, Jesus would have changed the course of Judas’ life. Had Judas refused the bread and confessed his sinful intentions, Jesus would have received Judas’ confession. And though Jesus would still have been betrayed by someone, it did not have to be Judas.
But this was not the case. Therefore we are told that as soon as Judas took the bread, Satan (the only time in the gospel that Satan is mentioned by name) entered into Judas. Jesus instructed Judas and Satan in him to go quickly and do what he was going to do.
Though Judas knew what Jesus meant the others were still clueless. They did not understand what was happening and just thought that Judas was being sent on a mission to go and buy food for the Feast or to give something to the poor.
But nothing could be further from the truth! Judas left instead to sell the Son of God for a price.
John tells us that as soon as Judas received the bread, he went out. And it was night. It was night visibly, but even more true is the fact that it was dark spiritually for Judas. It is always “dark” and never “light” when we act contrary to God’s instructions.
Believers are called to walk daily in the light of Jesus’ truth!
How are you tempted to abandon or betray Jesus by following your own agenda and walking in the sin of disobedience? How will you call out to Him to cleanse you and help you return to Him?
Though Jesus loved Judas, He did not force Judas to love Him. Jesus loved Judas enough to allow him to make his own choice.
And Jesus does the same today. Though He loves all people, for they are His creation, not all choose to love Him in return. Thus only those who choose to place their faith in Jesus are truly His children. And He knows the difference!
Jesus knows us from the inside out!
- So what does Jesus know and say about you?
- Are you like Peter and John and the other disciples? Would Jesus call you a faithful follower and obedient servant?
- Are you focused on living the life He gifted you with to His glory and honor and others’ good?
- Will you be willing to lay down your life in selfless service to God and His people for His greater good?
- Are you like Judas, self-focused and unwilling to lay down your agenda for God’s greater good?
Who you are on the inside manifests itself on the outside eventually! So though you may be able to fool yourself and others, you can never fool God!
What will you choose to change in your life this week as a result of this lesson?