Good morning. Today is Thursday of Holy Week. Our passage today comes from
And so we we use it to describe Thursday of Holy Week when we believe that Jesus and His disciples ate the Passover meal, known as “the last Supper” because it was just after that supper that our Lord was betrayed and crucified.
Our passage is one that we know well
Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet
13 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2 During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, 4 rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. 5 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” 7 Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” 8 Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” 9 Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” 10 Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
12 When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. 18 I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled, ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’ 19 I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he. 20 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.”
This is a passage that is extremely familiar to us. We hear it regularly, at least twice/year
And I sometimes struggle with knowing what can be said about it that is new or profound.
This was a term that I had never heard before I went to Moody and i heard it batted around there.
But this morning as I read it, this verse kept jumping out at me. “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” (verse 8)
The word “Maundy” comes from the Latin word mandatum or commandment
Jesus said this to Peter.
And the commandment that this word refers to is found in “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.”
Now, what is going on here is so significant on so many levels. Here you have Jesus, the Word, the Creator, Lord and Master, doing the work that is reserved for a slave.
And not just any slave, but the lowest of slaves: Gentile slaves.
Jesus, going around with some water and a towel, washing the dirty, dusty feet of lowly fishermen and tax collectors.
And what’s significant to me is that none of the other disciples speak up about it. None of the others protest doing the job of a slave.
Nobody speaks up. Nobody, that is, except for Peter.
Now, Peter often gets a bad rap. But as I’ve said in the past, I kind of like Peter. And I like how he responds here.
Peter protests Jesus’ actions Because I think Peter, out of anyone in that room, gets it!
Do you remember his great statement in ?
13 He asked His followers, “Who do people say that I, the Son of Man, am?” 14 They said, “Some say You are John the Baptist and some say Elijah and others say Jeremiah or one of the early preachers.”
15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
You can say what you want to about Peter. He may have been impulsive and quick to speak but he understood, I think sooner than the others, who Jesus truly was.
And that helps us to understand why he protested Jesus’ actions in the upper room.
“You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God!” Why are you washing my feet?
And that’s when Jesus says this very profound statement to Peter: If I don’t wash you, you have no share with me.
If I don’t wash you, you have no share with me.
Because Peter, even though he realizes who Jesus is, tries to dictate what Jesus should do.
You aren’t going to wash my feet
Ok, if you have to, you might as well make a complete job of it
Does that sound familiar?
Can we identify with this?
even though I know who Jesus is. And, on this side of history, even though I know what He has done for me, it is still my tendency pull myself up by my own bootstraps and take care Iof my own washing.
That is, to dictate the terms of
Making myself presentable before Him.
But Jesus says here, “unless I do the washing, you don’t have any part with me”
It’s Jesus who does the work, both in drawing us to the Father, and making us presentable to Him, and in the continued cleansing, and sanctifying that needs to happen in our lives.
Unless Jesus does the work, we have no part with Him. We are not truly in union with Him if He has not done and is not continuing to do the cleansing in us.
My question for us on this Thursday is, “Who is doing the washing in your life? You or Jesus?”