Lenten Reflections

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John 13:1-5

February 15, 2024
John 13:1-5

1 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. 2 During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him, 3 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, 4 rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. 5 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.


With the opening lines of John 13, we are taken to the “upper room” where Jesus made advance preparations to share a final meal with his disciples. Jesus always had a strong sense of time. Unlike us, his timing was never off. He knew that the time had come for him to depart, and yet, even so, John reminds us that his love for his disciples and for all of us who remain “in the world” is undiminished. His love is constant, and he loves us to the very end. Jesus displays remarkable composure as he draws near to his impending death because he knows that God has already given him the victory over the grave. Though he must endure the cross, he knows how the story ends. With that frame of mind, Jesus gives his followers one final object lesson. He wraps a towel around his waist and proceeds to wash the disciples’ feet, even those belonging to the one who would betray him.

Of all the things that Jesus could have done the night before his death, why do you think Jesus chose to wash his disciples’ feet?