1 It was just before the Passover Feast. 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. 2 The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
Having had all things put under his power, Jesus has supreme authority over everything. But there he was, washing the feet of his disciples. As I visualised this scene during my daily Bible meditation, the image was almost incongruous: Jesus, the King of kings, taking on a lowly servant’s job of washing the dirty feet of guests. If I have power and authority, I won’t be serving people, I would want others to serve me, I thought.
But that’s how different I was from Jesus – him, the Servant King, and I, his bondservant who’s trying to do acts of service but not embracing the whole identity of a servant, be it giving up my rights or having a humble disposition. And I see my pride in where I draw my lines, how much I’m willing to give or suffer. But I guess it all shows how much I love my sheep. Jesus was compelled to serve them out of his love for them (verse 2). In the end, I must pray for more love, a love not borne out of self, but out of abiding in Christ.