He Loved Them to the End: Love Day - May 20th
He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. 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. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.”...When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. - John 13:4-8, 12-15
The Lord’s Supper. The upper room. The night before his excruciating death. The disciples continuously failed Jesus in his three year ministry. Luke 22:23 says that the disciples entered the upper room debating who was the greatest disciple of them all. But then Jesus illustrates true greatness - he washes their feet. Jesus said and did many things in the upper room that night, but none of it may be more remarkable and radical than this. Imagine yourself washing the feet of another adult, particularly one who has failed you time and time again. I don’t care how “Godly” you are, any of us would have a problem with that on some level. But Jesus thought not of himself, rather in grace and truth, one by one, he washes the disciples feet. Simply amazing.
It was customary that the lowest servant of the house would wash the feet of the guests as they came into the house, especially for a formal meal like this. For some reason, this didn’t happen when Jesus and the disciples came into the room. They ate their meal with dirty feet. In an extreme act of servanthood, Jesus washes the disciples feet! According to the Jewish laws and traditions regarding the relationship between a teacher and his disciples, a teacher had no right to demand or expect that his disciples would wash his feet. It was absolutely unthinkable that the Master would wash His disciple’s feet. But in giving himself completely to his work, Jesus’ was giving them an example of love and service. Despite the disciples failures, Jesus loved them to the end.
Why do we serve?
True greatness is loving and serving no matter what. We serve because Jesus served us on the cross. On the cross, he washed our feet with his blood and took our sin away. When we serve, we are sacrificing, healing, restoring, making new, and building up people and places around us. When we serve, we are reflecting God’s humble nature as revealed in Jesus Christ, who came to serve, to sacrifice, to restore, to make new, and to build up. Serving also gives us a faint glimpse of an eternity when all things will be remarkably restored and made new! On May 20th, through a handful of service projects and partnerships with local businesses, Riverside will be engaging in “Love Day” - an expression of humility and service to the Horsham and greater Horsham/Hatboro community. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about “Love Day” and how you can serve the community around you!