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Luke 22 : 24-30 , John 13: 3-17 "MORE THAN WORDS NEEDED!"
Day 285 – Luke 22
Text: Luke 22 : 24-30 , John 13: 3-17
MORE THAN WORDS NEEDED!
Jesus knew that more than words of instruction were needed to teach His Disciples concerning the lesson of true greatness. The influence of the world was very strong. The sinful inclination of the human heart desires recognition from others. Some even become intoxicated when they taste power. They like to be feted as “benefactors”.
Jesus decided that He would teach His Disciples a special lesson, one that would leave an indelible imprint on their hearts. He decided that He would wash the feet of His Disciples.
JESUS WASHED THE FEET OF HIS DISICPLES!
An unknown disciple of Jesus had given to Him the use of an upper room large enough to have them celebrate their Passover Meal together (Luke 22:7-13). However, he did not provide servants to wash the feet of his guests. Perhaps that was best, for it allowed Jesus to do what must have seemed unthinkable to His Disciples. The Gospel of John described the incident of Jesus actually washing the feet of His Disciples.
“Jesus, knowing that the Father
had given all things into His hands,
and that He had come from God and was going to God,
rose from supper and laid aside His garments,
took a towel and girded Himself.
After that, He poured water into a basin and began
To wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them
With a towel with which He was girded.”
Jesus had just taught them that He who was truly great must be as one who was younger. He who understood greatness must be able to serve others. He then went ahead to put this lesson into practice.
The washing of feet is not normally done during or after a meal. It was the first thing that a lowly servant would attend to when his master or his friends entered the home. Obviously, there were no servants around to do this for the Lord Jesus and His Disciples.
The Disciples did not offer to wash the feet of their Master. They certainly did not offer to wash each other’s feet. Jesus had observed that His Disciples had not fully learned true humility.
He must have stunned His Disciples when He went up to each of them to wash their feet! How did they feel as their Master approached them as a lowly servant! He had just presided over the Passover Meal. And now He was washing their feet!
Gone were all their questions about who was to be considered the greatest! Shame must have filled their hearts. Remorse and guilt must have assailed them as they thought about the foolish dispute they had among themselves.
Peter must have been deeply moved by this act of deep humility on the part of Jesus. He said,
“Lord, are YOU washing my feet?”
He went on further to say,
“You shall never wash my feet!”
We can identify with Peter very easily. How could Jesus, the Messiah, their Master, their Teacher… wash anyone of their feet!
Jesus had to make Peter experience this humbling act of service. The question of greatness must be dealt with decisively. Pride, self, the way of the world – these things must be dealt with once and for all, or they would adversely affect and hinder their future life and ministry!
A SPECIAL WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT
We must not think that the Disciples had learned nothing from Jesus, even though they showed gross insensitivity when they raised up the question of “greatness”. Let us look at some very special words that Jesus spoke to His Disciples.
“But you are those who have continued with Me
in My trials.
And I bestow upon you a kingdom,
Just as My Father bestowed one upon Me,
That you may eat and drink at My Table
In My kingdom, and sit on the thrones
Judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”
Jesus did not think poorly of His Disciples. He loved them dearly and appreciated them (Cf. John 13:1). He had a high regard for them. These words were high commendation indeed. His Disciples were “great” in Jesus’ sight. However, He did not want them to dwell on “greatness”.
The Disciples were given a special blessing. All of those who had persevered following Jesus, despite the many trials they had to endure, would be recognized and rewarded. The language of Jesus reminds us of a passage found in Daniel 7, where Daniel was given a vision of God’s grand throne room.
“I watched till thrones were put in place,
and the Ancient of Days was seated…”
In Daniel’s vision, he was shown “thrones” arranged before the majestic THRONE OF GOD. What a high honour to be given one of these thrones! Jesus actually said that He would reward His faithful Disciples with such a boon. Nevertheless they must not dispute among themselves who would be considered the greatest.