One of my favorite passages in the bible is John 13. I love the intimate interaction between Jesus and his disciples during the washing of feet and the Passover meal. Growing up, what stood out the most was Peter’s encounter with Jesus in verses 6-9, “But when Jesus got to Simon Peter, he objected and said, “I can’t let you wash my dirty feet—you’re my Lord!” Jesus replied, “You don’t understand yet the meaning of what I’m doing, but soon it will be clear to you.” Peter looked at Jesus and said, “You’ll never wash my dirty feet—never!” “But Peter, if you don’t allow me to wash your feet,” Jesus responded, “then you will not be able to share life with me.” So Peter said, “Lord, in that case, don’t just wash my feet, wash my hands and my head too!”
I can feel Peter’s passion to be with Jesus. We’ve been here too, ‘Lord, wash all of me if it means I’ll share life with you. Yes, Lord, you have my yes!” It’s easy to give a resounding YES when we are in the presence of God, but Like Peter we don’t always count the cost of that YES before we declare it. Jesus prophesied to Peter in verses 36-39 that he would deny even knowing Jesus. Matthew’s account shares Peter’s response proclaiming that he would die before he denied Jesus. How quickly we retract or second guess our yes when the pressure rises.
Several years ago though, something different was highlighted in this passage. It was the interaction between Jesus and Judas. Particularly, Jesus washing Judas’ feet. Washing his feet knowing he was going to be betrayed by him. Like, who does this? I remember asking myself, ‘Why was this not something we were discussing in Sunday School growing up?’ What kind of person serves the one that is going to betray you? The answer is Jesus.
We have all probably been faced with a Judas. Someone that has betrayed us, stabbed us in the back, lied to us, or just weren’t loyal. So how do we love the Judas in our midst? Because here’s the thing, if you can love the Judas then you can pretty much love anyone!
The love that Jesus demonstrated throughout his ministry was so great. So great, in fact, that he commands all of us to love like him, ““So I give you now a NEW commandment: Love each other just as much as I have loved you.”” John 13:34.
So how do we love like Jesus? Let’s look at other examples of how Jesus has been teaching us to love.. He is corrective (Matthew 21:12-13), He is compassionate (John 8:7-11), He is honoring (Luke 19:1-10); He is encouraging (Mark 11:22-26); He is forgiving (Luke 23:34); He gives instructions (Luke 11:1-13), He weeps (John 11:33-35).
I encourage you today to be Jesus to those around you by loving like Him.