Day 40 (April 5), John 13:1-8
Context: As the Passion Week following Jesus’ triumphal entry on Palm Sunday unfolds, we find an ever-increasing tension between his teachings, his claims and the Jewish authorities' intention to arrest and then kill him. He walks freely among the Temple courts (see map below) but the combination of the devil’s schemes, Judas’ vulnerability and the Sanhedrin’s culpability bring us to a place where Judas agrees to betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. Jesus earnestly desires to spend the Passover Supper with his disciples and that is the focus of John’s narrative in Chapter 13. His is the most intimate and extensive of all the Gospel accounts about what we commonly call the Last Supper. It was and is a forerunner to the sacrificial Lamb of God and shows the depth of Jesus’ love and instruction for his disciples then and now. The washing of the disciples' feet, the acknowledgement of Judas’ betrayal, the ‘new’ commandment to love one another and the prediction by Jesus of Peter’s denial are all embedded in this chapter … read it richly and thoroughly.
Observations: Many Jewish homes had two levels of servants and only the lowest level would ever be asked to wash the feet of the guests. What does this say about Jesus? About us? Judas most likely had the 30 pieces of silver in his money belt/pouch during the Last Supper. What does that say about Jesus? Why is Jesus so focused on helping his disciples ‘love one another’ when he is about to be arrested?
Application: What can you do to serve others in a spatially distant environment? Find a way to be emotionally and relationally ‘present’ in someone’s life right now … you may need some creativity.
Prayer: Jesus, help us to ‘love one another’ as you did and still do!! Help us to worship you with unfiltered passion, joy and enthusiasm as they did during your Triumphal Entry .. which we celebrate today on Palm Sunday.