Jesus and His disciples at the last supper
The very thing He wanted them to notice – the basin, the towel – they didn’t see at all. Jesus goes over, takes up the basin, takes up the towel, and heads over to the first disciple and begins to wash his feet. I can’t speak for you, but I believe that the first thing I would have felt that day in that moment would be shame. I would have been beating myself up asking myself why I didn’t notice that water basin in the corner of the room. God gifted it to me, He put it right in front of me to notice, and I was too caught up in the wrong definition of greatest that I was blinded to what was in front of me all the time.
Jesus washed the feet of each of them. He washed their feet just after a misguided fuss about who was greatest. He washed their feet knowing they would fail Him in the future. He even washed the feet of Judas, who would soon betray Him. He washed their feet because that is what love does, and that’s what service looks like. Jesus, who is God, gets down on his knees and washed the feet of His children.
He knew they didn’t understand what was actually happening, but He desperately wanted them to see it. He knew they didn’t understand what He was doing. However, He also knew they will get it one day in the future, and it will change their lives forever. It is never about the crowd outside cheering them on. It’s about serving each other. It’s about not missing the opportunity to pick up the water basin and the towel and serve someone.
Speaking with Peter, In John 13:7, Jesus says, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.” In other words, you don’t get it now but you will soon. That word, “know” is very important because it means that one day, in a very intimate way, you will understand what I’m doing.
You see, Jesus had already taught them to do good to people who do bad things against them. He had already taught them to feed their enemies and to give water to their enemies when they were thirsty. Now He is showing them that He lives what He has been teaching them. He was trying to teach the disciples that they should serve the way He was serving.
- an excerpt from my book, The Descent to Compassion.
Have you ever stepped over the basin? How can we be more aware of the divine moments to serve that are around us each day? Share a comment or insight.