2021_11_29 Insight Post- Kim Feld
This week's reading- John 13-14
This year we have focused on the four biographies of Jesus to study Jesus’ life closely. We wanted to spend time processing Jesus’ words about what it takes to follow Him as His disciple. In our Monday night Prayer Nights, we have discussed four questions to try to unpack that week’s reading, asking ourselves what we have learned about Jesus and His ways. When I read a chapter like John 13, I recognize that I have a long way to go even though I really want to be like Jesus.
John chapter 13 opens with Jesus washing the feet of His disciples. Verse 1 says, “It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.” Verse 2 tells us that Satan had already prompted Judas to betray Jesus, and as the chapter goes on, we see that Jesus was fully aware of what Judas was planning to do. It makes sense to have Jesus tell Judas to go and do what he had planned (see verse 27) early in the evening, but He doesn’t. Instead, Jesus washed Judas’ feet along with the other 11 disciples, and He broke bread with him. Some believe that Jesus’ last exchange with Judas in giving him bread (which Judas took) was Jesus offering Judas one last chance to change his mind. We don’t know for sure, but given Jesus’ other actions toward Judas, that makes sense to me. How Jesus’ heart must have broken over this betrayal!
This is the backdrop against which Jesus gives a new command to His disciples: Love one another.
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Jesus gives no caveats like, “love those that deserve it” or “love those that love you.” Instead, He tells us to have our actions be guided by love. That’s a huge order. Looking at Jesus’ life, we see that love does not equal conformity, endorsement, or even agreement. But it should dictate how we treat others, especially those with whom we may not be on the same page.
If Jesus can wash Judas’ feet, what is He calling me to do?
Executive Director of Education and Outreach