“For I, the Son of Man, must die since it is part of God’s plan. But how terrible it will be for my betrayer!” - Luke 22:22
Jesus provided an unforgettable example of serving others when he washed his disciples’ dusty feet. Luke 22 and John 13 are parallel passages describing the same event—the last supper Jesus had with his disciples. The passage in John shows us that Jesus lovingly washed the feet of all his disciples, including Judas Iscariot, for he had not yet left to do his evil deed (John 13:30). Not only did Jesus show his disciples how to serve one another, but he also showed them, as they might later understand, that such service would always be appropriate no matter how their audience responded.
What a great gesture! I can see Jesus lovingly handling the traitor’s feet, well aware that those same feet would shortly lead Jesus’ enemies to the Garden of Gethsemane to arrest him! I can see him looking into Judas’s eyes, while Judas tried to avert his own.
So often we want to be appreciated for our gracious acts of service. We look for something in return, but a servant spirit is a giving-with‑no-strings-attached spirit. In this case washing the traitor’s feet did not turn the man’s heart back to God. But Jesus, knowing it wouldn’t change Judas’s mind, washed his feet anyway. That’s grace. Grace gives without expecting a return.
By loving and serving our enemies, we may reconcile them to the Lord and to us—or we may not. But whether or not there is repentance and reconciliation is not the point. He who washed feet calls us to do the same, whatever the results may be!
For Further Study: Luke 22:1-30
Excerpted from The One Year Devotions for Women, Copyright ©2000 by Jill Briscoe. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.
For more from Jill Briscoe, please visit TellingtheTruth.org.