March 22, 2016

The Fullness of Love

John 13:1-17

Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.

—  John 13:1

It must have been very quiet in the upper room as all eyes stared at Jesus in amazement. He wrapped a towel around his waist, poured water into a basin, and began to wash his disciples’ feet.

No rabbi had ever washed the feet of his followers! Footwashing was something that only slaves did. Washing his disciples’ feet showed Jesus’ amazing love. One set of feet belonged to the disciple who would betray him. Another of these disciples would publicly deny him. Finally, these feet would carry nearly all the disciples away while Jesus suffered and died on the cross.

Washing the disciples’ feet was a sign of grace. The disciples all needed to be washed of their filth—the filth of their souls as well as their feet. Soon Jesus’ blood would flow to cleanse them thoroughly.

But Jesus was also setting an example for his followers. He said, “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.”

Whose feet could you wash by reaching out in love and forgiveness? Whom have you recently served who may have nothing to give you in return? Jesus calls us to humble ourselves and extend grace, serving others in his name.

Lord Jesus, teach us how to reach out to people who are desperate for your love. May we serve you with love and grace, as we serve others in your name. Amen.

About the author — Tom Groelsema

Tom Groelsema and his wife, Sheri, have served churches in Minnesota, Michigan, and North Carolina. They have four children and three granddaughters.

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