Posted by: pmarkrobb | April 17, 2014

he now showed them…

I love language.  I hold a strong belief in the power of words, and I have a particular affinity for poetic prose.  There is a specific phrase from a single translation of today’s paramount event that makes my heart soar.  In the words of the NIV, Chapter 13 of John’s gospel begins this way …

It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world…

The sun had gone down on Thursday afternoon in the life of Jesus.  What that meant to He and his disciples, was that Friday had just begun.  But in our definition of a day, there were several more hours before our Passion Friday would begin.  The disciples were gathered in the room Jesus had sent a few of them ahead to prepare earlier in the day, and He was about to begin the sacred Seder.

What comes next are some of the most powerful words of the Holy Week narrative.

he now showed them the full extent of his love.
John 13:1b (NIV)

After reading the last word, can’t you just feel yourself swelling with expectation, bracing for what comes next?  Well, here is what comes next …


Jesus gets up from the table, takes off his outer clothes, wraps a towel around his waist, grabs a basin, fills it with water and begins to wash the feet of his disciples.

Wait … hold on … what?!  This is the full extent?  This is love?  Yes and YES … and for all the other questions, YES!  This is a Jesus-sort-of-kingdom moment.  This is the sum total of His last-shall-be-first teaching.  This is the King who was born in a feed trough in a stable.  This is the King who rode into his coronation parade on the back of a young donkey.  This is the King who was anointed by an unnamed woman in the house of a leper.  This is the King who broke the power of sin and conquered death itself by walking the cross road and willingly giving His life as a ransom for ours.

In removing his clothes and taking this posture, Jesus Christ showed us the standard for His kingdom.  To belong, you must become a servant.  When Jesus had finished washing his disciples’ feet and returned to His place at the table, He spoke a strong and clear message to them and to all of us who choose to follow Him…

So if I, the Master and Teacher, washed your feet, you must now wash each other’s feet. I’ve laid down a pattern for you. What I’ve done, you do. (John 13:14-15 MSG)

Last year at this time I issued a challenge.  Were you a reader then?  If you were, did you act on the challenge?  I’ll repeat it again this year … Before resurrection day ends, find someone, and wash their feet.  Seriously, do it.  Do it as Jesus did, and in His name.  We don’t still wear sandals as our primary footwear, and our streets are not composed of the same grit and substance as those of the ancient’s. But Jesus’ command was never about dusty roads and dirty feet.  He commanded his disciples and all of us, because He knows how it can change us and make us more like Him.  I can confidently say that it has changed me.

Jesus showed his disciples the full extent of His love.  Will you also show it?



  1. To The Full Extent!!! He could give no more! Thank you Lord,

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