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Hopeful Desperation: The Servant

April 17, 2014

Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

…Jesus was troubled in his spirit, and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he spoke. One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at table at Jesus’ side, so Simon Peter motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. So that disciple, leaning back against Jesus, said to him, “Lord, who is it?” Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I will give this morsel of bread when I have dipped it.” So when he had dipped the morsel, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.” … So, after receiving the morsel of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.

Did you catch that?  Jesus washed his disciples’ feet before Judas left.

Jesus washed Judas’ feet…

… mere hours before he betrayed him…

The guy that turned over the savior of the world – to be crucified – was worthy of having his feet washed by him.

Honestly, I don’t know how to respond to that.

Jesus was a man.  He experienced the whole range of human emotion.  When something funny happened, he laughed.  When he lost a dear friend, he wept.  So when he saw who his betrayer would be… one of his friends, one of the twelve… what did he feel?  Rage?  Sadness?  Disappointment?  Probably all of the above.  And what did he do?  He washed Judas’ feet.  He served him.  He considered him worthy of his love and sacrifice.

Do I need to draw the parallel here?  Judas turned Jesus over to be tortured and murdered for some cash.  What excuse do I have for not serving those around me?  My heart is dark.  I’m selfish, lazy, and, honestly, I just don’t like doing things that inconvenience me.  Who does?  But for Jesus this wasn’t an inconvenience, and it certainly wasn’t just a practical “Wow, I don’t want to look at those nasty toes while I’m eating” sort of thing.  He was setting the bar for all of us.

He’s saying to us, “I am my murderer’s servant.  Go and do likewise.”

 Day 5

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Joel Heebink permalink
    April 18, 2014 11:39 am

    The Servant: I agree Clayton, it is so hard to understand this. Many of Jesus’ teachings are difficult. This is along the lines of “love your enemy.”

    I also have come to understand that people and their motives are usually very complex. Judas was a thief and yet a disciple. But as I read Matthew 27, there is something else at work here.

    When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.”
    “What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.”
    So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.

    We know the will of God in this story: that Jesus would die for our sake. It had to happen somehow. Here Judas is clearly torn apart by what happened. What did he expect in the first place? Could it be that Judas wanted Jesus to take his “rightful place” as an earthly king and overthrow the oppression of Rome? Did he tire of the wait and wish to force Jesus’ hand, hastening his move to kingship? If that was the motive, you can imagine his remorse when Jesus did not take that action. But I have no idea of Judas’ true motive; just guessing here.

    Once again, the Bible story is messy and complex, and lets not forget the tempter. If I look at my life, I would say the same. Having a rock to hold onto (Jesus) is the only thing that has a chance of making sense of it all.

    • thebassoflife permalink*
      April 18, 2014 1:03 pm

      That is so true! I’ve never thought about Judas’ motive being much more than a nice payday. To think that his motive may have been swaying Jesus to bring about the revolution they all had expected… I’m going to have to think about that one! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Joel!

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