Before the Festival of Passover, Jesus knew that his time had come to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them fully. 2 Jesus and his disciples were sharing the evening meal. The devil had already provoked Judas, Simon Iscariot’s son, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew the Father had given everything into his hands and that he had come from God and was returning to God. 4 So he got up from the table and took off his robes. Picking up a linen towel, he tied it around his waist. 5 Then he poured water into a washbasin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he was wearing. 6 When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” 7 Jesus replied, “You don’t understand what I’m doing now, but you will understand later.” 8 “No!” Peter said. “You will never wash my feet!” Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t have a place with me.” 9 Simon Peter said, “Lord, not only my feet but also my hands and my head!” 10 Jesus responded, “Those who have bathed need only to have their feet washed, because they are completely clean. You disciples are clean, but not every one of you.” 11 He knew who would betray him. That’s why he said, “Not every one of you is clean.” 12 After he washed the disciples’ feet, he put on his robes and returned to his place at the table. He said to them, “Do you know what I’ve done for you? 13 You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you speak correctly, because I am. 14 If I, your Lord and teacher, have washed your feet, you too must wash each other’s feet. 15 I have given you an example: Just as I have done, you also must do. 16 I assure you, servants aren’t greater than their master, nor are those who are sent greater than the one who sent them. 17 Since you know these things, you will be happy if you do them. (John 13:1-17, CEB)
This reading is usually found on Maundy Thursday, where in the gospel of John there isn’t a last supper because Jesus is the paschal lamb and in John we get the new commandment to love one another as I have loved you. And here Jesus shows that love to the disciples by doing the roll of a servant. He ties a towel around his waist and washes the feet of the disciples. Peter tells Jesus he will never wash him, but Jesus responds with if I do not wash you you have no part of me, Peter then wants everything washed. And this little side adventure seems to distract us from the fact that Judas is still here.
The text tells us, “The devil had already provoked Judas, Simon Iscariot’s son, to betray Jesus.” But Judas has not left yet. Judas is one who is washed by Jesus. Jesus said not everyone of them was clean but all of them were cleaned.
We need to remember that Jesus served the one who handed him over. We don’t choose who we serve for God. We are called to love and serve all.
Loving People. Loving God.