Today is Maundy Thursday, when we remember Jesus celebrating the Last Supper with His disciples. Our Gospel lesson is John 13:1-17.
“It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 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. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean. When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”
Jesus knew all along what God’s plan was for Him. He spent His time on earth sharing what God had planned for us. He came as the living example of God’s love for us and His desire to renew our original connection.
Jesus spoke often of the last, the least and the lost, and we think “these are those poor souls He wants us to seek out.” The truth is we are those poor souls! Jesus came to save lost humanity from the sin we chose in place of God’s love.
He washed the feet of His friends, a lesson for us to be humble with everyone we meet, treating them as important in the kingdom of God. No one stands above anyone else. We must recognize the image of our Creator in each person, loving them as Christ loves all of us.
Gracious God, You sent Your Son as our brother, example and Savior. Help us to follow the path He has taught us, that all may be saved by Your love and mercy. Amen.