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Then he came to Simon Peter. Peter said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus replied, “You do not understand what I am doing now, but you will understand after these things.” Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet!” Jesus replied, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head!” Jesus replied, “The one who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean. And you disciples are clean, but not every one of you.” (For Jesus knew the one who was going to betray him. For this reason he said, “Not every one of you is clean.”)
Jesus’ washing of the disciples’ feet goes fine until He reaches Peter. Only after Jesus tells Peter that it was a requirement of being with Christ does he change his mind. This is a foreshadowing of what Christ was about to do on the cross, in more ways than one. Interesting that Peter initially denies Christ here, and then denies Christ again 3 times later as Jesus predicted. It is also interesting that Jesus washes Judas’ feet, knowing that he would betray Him. Consider those examples today. Are you able to receive what Jesus did for you?
Because Jesus knew that the Father had handed all things over to him, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, he got up from the meal, removed his outer clothes, took a towel and tied it around himself. He poured water into the washbasin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to dry them with the towel he had wrapped around himself.
This says a great deal about how Christ chooses to use the authority that he had been given on this earth. God the Father had put ALL things under the power of Christ. Up to this point, many signs and wonders evidenced that the power and authority of Christ is real and without equal. Now, Jesus decides to wash his disciples’ feet. I can imagine the disciples looking at each other as Jesus prepares himself for this task. They were probably quietly asking one another, “What is Jesus doing?” With this, Jesus sets the tone for the disciples, and believers, to serve one another.
Then came the feast of the Dedication in Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple area in Solomon’s Portico. The Jewish leaders surrounded him and asked, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Jesus replied, “I told you and you do not believe. The deeds I do in my Father’s name testify about me. But you refuse to believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish; no one will snatch them from my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can snatch them from my Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.”
These verses nicely illustrate that Jesus was not trying to win a popularity contest. After speaking this, those He is speaking to pick up stones to stone Him. The truth of Jesus' words carries the power to pierce our hearts daily. There is no room to believe that Jesus was only a prophet, or merely a great teacher. Our understanding and acceptance of Christ cannot stop there; it must go on to accept and acknowledge His deity (vs. 30). Jesus is the very representation of God Himself. Listen to His voice, take courage, and follow Christ.
“I, the Lord, say: ‘O nation of Israel, can I not deal with you as this potter deals with the clay? In my hands, you, O nation of Israel, are just like the clay in this potter’s hand.’
Israel’s history is like a roller-coaster ride of falling away from the Lord, then returning to the Lord. All of this history points toward redemption through Christ. God does not lose control, and is not surprised. He is the master potter; ever shaping those He has chosen. Just as the people of Israel were in God’s hand, so are we in Christ. Receive and respond to the Holy Spirit's direction and conviction in your life. Allow yourself to be shaped by the love and will of God.
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh, for compelled by my strong hand he will release them, and by my strong hand he will drive them out of his land.”
The only reason that Israel was delivered from Egypt was because of God. This statement makes clear that God designed Israel’s exit from oppression to glorify Himself and put on display that this people were secure in His hands. Praise God that He hears our cries and pursues justice on our behalf! He did so with Israel, and you can rest assured He will do so in our lives. We belong to a God who can be trusted, and has proved that He is trustworthy time and time again throughout history.