Luke 22:14, 24-30
That night Jesus and His twelve closest disciples broke the bread and the wine of Passover and remembered how God had saved His people in Egypt. He had destroyed the terrible pharaoh who had forced them into slavery. Jesus sat quietly at one end of the table while a few of the disciples talked together, their heads were bent close. Suddenly, the little group started arguing.
“No, I am!” They were fighting about who was the most important disciple. Some thought it was John and some thought it was Peter.
Jesus said. “All the rulers have power but you must be different. With you, the one who serves should be your leader.”
“Who is more important, the one who sits at the table eating, or the one who serves the meal?”
“With you it is the one who serves the meal. Look at me, I’m serving you. This is how you should be with each other. You have stayed with me and when all this is over you will join me in my Father’s kingdom. Then you will sit on thrones and judge the twelve tribes of Israel.”
Jesus looked around at His twelve closest friends. These were the men who would carry on His work after He went back to Heaven. He loved these men. He had loved them from the beginning and He loved them to the end. Jesus knew the Father had given Him a choice. As all people can, the Son of Man could choose to follow the plan God had for His life. Or, He could turn away from the plan and go His own way. Jesus came from God and He wanted to return to God. He would always be at God’s side. He looked around at His disciples and stood up.
The disciples stopped talking. They watched as Jesus poured water into a bowl and looked up at them.
“My friends,” He said. “No one has washed your feet.”
He went to each one of them and knelt, then, he slipped off their sandals and washed their feet. Afterward, He dried them with a towel He had tied around His waist. Jesus was Teacher and Leader to these men. Yet He was doing something only a slave was supposed to do. With His own two hands and a bowl of water, He slowly cleaned the sand and dust off each of the men’s feet.
Peter could not stand it anymore. He cried out. “Lord! What are You doing, are You going to wash my feet too?”
“That’s a slave’s job!”
“You don’t understand now why I’m doing this but someday you will.” Jesus said.
Peter answered. “No! Never! You should never have to wash my feet!”
Peter could not bear to see Jesus, their King, acting like a slave.
“Peter, if I don’t wash you, you can’t grow any closer to Me.”
When Peter heard this, he said, “Not just my feet then, Lord please wash my hands and my head too.”
Even then Peter did not fully understand what Jesus was doing and why. When Jesus finished, He put His robe back on and sat down again. Then He told them the reason why He had acted as their slave.
“Do you know what I was doing?”
“You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you are right. If I, who am your Lord, washes your feet then what do you think you should do for each other?”
The disciples had been fighting about which of them was the greatest but now Jesus said. “I’ve given you an example to follow. This is the way to become truly great. Anyone who believes what I say to you, is not just believing in Me, but also in My Father who sent Me.”
Those who follow Jesus’ example are doing what God wants. Jesus knew His disciples would need as much help as possible in sorting out the next few days, for a dark time was ahead of them all. If they could learn to serve each other, the dark time might be a little easier to get through. They would have the Lord’s blessing if only they chose to listen and hear.