Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The clean feet of Judas

Reading the Scriptures, something always seems new and newsworthy. Tonight I read about Jesus washing the feet of his disciples. I’ve contemplated the story in John 13 many times. I’ve marveled before at Christ dressing down to servanthood and instructing his followers to do the same in his memory. The distress of Peter has resonated a time or two. Even the discourtesy of the host home for not providing this basic custom has occurred to me.

But tonight, Jesus' deliberate service to his betrayer, Judas, seems particularly striking. “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 writes.

Jesus not only demonstrates humility and care to those who love him, but washes the feet of Judas as well. “You are clean, though not all of you,” Jesus admits. He doesn’t single out this false friend or humiliate him before the others. Later, when the celebrations are over, when Judas has had many opportunities to draw back from his betrayal, Jesus reluctantly sends him off. “What you are about to do, do quickly.” You might as well get it over with. Or, since you’ve decided on this course of action, just go do it.

Judas misses the wonderful promise of the Holy Spirit (John 14, 16), the assurance of our connection to God through Christ (the vine and the branches, John 15), and the prayer of Jesus for his followers (John 17). As Judas stalks out into the night, his choice is made.

When he hangs himself later that evening, his feet are clean. Washed and dried by his Teacher and Servant, Jesus himself.

I wonder how often I disobey, walking away from my Friend on freshly washed soles.

Read more:
*Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for I pray to no one but you. Psalm 5:2 NLT

*You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.

*But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him! Romans 5:6-9 NIV

*And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience-- among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. Ephesians 2:1-3 NLT

No comments:

Post a Comment