I think one of the most memorable parts of Jesus’ ministry on earth occurred when He washed the disciple’s feet. In that culture, foot washing was considered a dirty job for the lowest slave. People used sandal for footwear and few roads had paving stones. Most walked dusty roads. So when they entered a home, their feet were dirty. You know what happens with dirty feet. They emit an odor to put it politely.
Yet Jesus will wash his disciple’s feet to with two purposes. First, He wants to demonstrate servant leadership. Though He was their teacher, He did the lowest job as a ministry to them. But this was not only a leadership teaching moment. John 13:1 says this – “Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.” (ESV). Or the NIV puts it like this – “Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.”
So foot washing displayed the full extent of Jesus’ love for His disciples and for us. Jesus’ willingness to wash the disciple’s feet showed that He loved them to the end. His love would not falter or cease. There would never come a time where He would stop loving them. His love would continue to the end of His earthly life and onward.
The same applies to you and me. Do you ever think that Jesus has stopped loving you today? Do you ever wonder if His love for you is not as fervent today as it was last year or several years ago? Do you ever fear that He might stop loving you at some point in the future?
This text speaks against all these thoughts Jesus would love them and us to the end. That includes His willingness to endure the cross and all its shame. That includes His determination to follow through on His Father’s will to drink the bitter cup of suffering. Do not believe those thoughts that question the steadfastness and endurance of the Lord’s love for you.
“The Lord is merciful and gracious,
Slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always chide,
Nor will he keep his anger forever.
He does not deal with us according to our sins,
Nor repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
So great is his steadfast love towards those who fear him.
As far as the east is from the west,
So far does he remove our transgressions from us.
As a father shows compassion on his children
So the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
For he knows our frame
He remembers that we are dust. (Psalm 103:8-14 - ESV)
“Thank you Lord for loving us to the end. Help this truth to cut through our doubtful thoughts and the enemy’s lies planted in our mind. As we let this truth settle in us, empower us to love others the same way.”