Thursday of Passion Week

Thursday of Passion Week

Apr 09, 2009

Richard Gotthardt

Thursday of Passion Week

John 13:1-20

We enter territory that is familiar to many of us, and with familiarity often comes superficiality.  We know the story, we’ve done the routines, we “get it”.  But perhaps there can be a fresh invitation at this time- not to “get it” but to allow Jesus to more fully “get us”.   Let’s enter into that Upper Room with Jesus afresh.

John’s gospel tells us that the disciples were arguing on the way in about who was the greatest- a discussion about class rank, if you will.  Petty, self-absorbed, yes.  Like us, they were often insecure, wanting to be approved of, valued, honored.  And because Jesus had deliberately not arranged for a household servant to wash their feet (the standard custom), none of them were going to subject themselves to that kind of humiliation.  That would have been an admission of a “lower rank”!  And Jesus seizes the moment- not only to teach, but to show us the very nature of God Himself. 

Enter the room with Jesus and His disciples.  Place yourself around the table, feeling their insecurity and unsettledness.  Listen to the heavy silence as Jesus gets up and removes His outer garment and gathers a wash basin.  Stunned?  What does it feel like when He comes to you, kneels at your feet- your dirty, mud-encrusted, feet?  What is the look on His face as He gently and carefully washes?  How intimate is this moment?

Now listen afresh to His words, “You also ought to wash one another’s feet.  For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.”

Can you think of ways that Jesus has personally served and cared for you?

Reflect on some of those and allow your heart to respond in praise and thanks.
What would it mean for you to “wash another’s feet”?  What kind of humble service might Jesus be prompting?  Consider how this kind of service is an opportunity to imitate Jesus- to be like your Master.

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