Judas has already made arrangements to betray Jesus. Jesus knows that tonight He will be betrayed by Judas, abandoned by the rest of the disciples, and denied by Peter. He knows that He will be illegally tried, brutally beaten, and tortured to death on the cross while bearing our sins. This would make most of us depressed, cynical, bitter, angry, and detached. However, this is not how Jesus responds.
Jesus loves the disciples
John reminds us that Jesus is doing everything out of an undying love for His disciples. He is going to wash their feet because He loves them, and He is going to die on the cross because of His love for them. Jesus’ motivation is love.
Jesus is more concerned with the disciples’ well being than His own
Jesus does all of this shortly after Judas has agreed to betray Him and shortly before His crucifixion and death. Jesus is not consumed with His impending death. He is not consumed with the fact that the disciples will abandon Him. He is concerned for the disciples.
We live in a culture where love is defined as someone making me feel good. When the feeling fades we have “fallen out of love,” and we ditch that person for someone else who makes us feel good. Jesus demonstrates here that love is doing what is best for the person loved even at great personal pain and suffering. Love is not about how an individual makes us feel; love is a deliberate choice to give of one’s self for the good of the person loved.
Jesus seeks a lower position of service
Jesus now takes on the job of the lowest servant in the house and washes the disciples feet. Notice that Jesus is the only one whose feet are not washed; Jesus even washes Judas’ feet. Jesus is humbling Himself and seeking the lowest position there is in order to serve even a man who has conspired to betray Him. Jesus did not lose a bet; this was a deliberate choice on His part.
Jesus shows us the way to be happy
Jesus tells us that we should follow His example if we truly want to be happy. We must love God and others at the deliberate expense of self if we would truly be blessed. We must give of ourselves for God’s glory and others’ good. This is the way to be happy.
Will you live for God’s glory and the good of others no matter what it costs you personally?