“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” —John 13:34
At the Passover meal, Jesus takes the posture of a servant and washes his disciples’ feet. They are to do the same for one another. With clean feet, Judas leaves to betray Jesus.
Jesus gives his disciples a new command, a command that will show the world that they are his: “Love one another” (John 13:34). Jesus shares that he is going away to his Father’s house. But there is plenty of room for them, and one day he will come and take them to be with him. He is the way to get there.
The King’s Heart
God washed between his disciples’ toes. It is intimate, messy, tender.
Jesus could have gone his entire life without kneeling and washing. The King deserves to have his feet washed — not the other way around. This event was entirely unnecessary.
But it was God’s heart. God is so lovingly humble that he will stoop to even the most menial of tasks to show the intensity of his love. And Peter gets it. The moment was so awkward with intense love that he protests. But Jesus insists. “Let me love you this deeply,” he says. “Stand in it, Peter. Don’t be prideful and run.” Peter acquiesces. And Jesus washes 120 toes. Even Judas’s.
This is the same love that led the Son of God to lay aside his heavenly glory and take “the very nature of a servant” (Philippians 2:7). We are loved with this depth of tender, intimate, intense love.
Jesus prayed, “This is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” (John 17:3). The eternal life that Jesus offers begins in the here and now, in knowing and loving God. And it will never end.
When have you felt Jesus’ tender love for you?
Excerpted from a devotion in the Discover God’s Heart Bible.