This very intimate moment happened during the Last Supper when Jesus and His disciples were eating the Passover meal together. There must have been gasps and awkward silence as the disciples watched their Lord take on the role assigned to the lowest of lowest servants. For the washing of dusty, dirty feet was a part of hospitality and custom of the time… a generous and gracious way to receive guests into your house…and usually done by a lowly, and young servant. It says that when He had finished, He said, “Now that I, Your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.” But what was Jesus trying to tell us? First, Jesus was teaching us by example. In Matthew 20:28 He explained, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many.” So what He’s telling us is that we need to follow His example by having a servants heart. And in doing so, we can show others recognition and gratitude that’s steeped in humility and love. For it says He washed the feet of all the disciples…including the feet of Judas.
In this verse Jesus has made His way into Jerusalem that Palm Sunday only to look upon the Temple area in disgust. It tells us in verse 15 that the next day Jesus entered the Temple area and began driving out those who were buying and selling, not only quoting Isaiah 56:7, “My house will be called a house of prayer.” but also Jeremiah 7:11, “Has this house, which bears My Name, become a den of robbers to you? But I have been watching! declares the Lord.” So today, I’m going to ask you to examine your own Temple. For our body is a Temple of the living God. (I Corinthians 3:16 & 6:19, II Corinthians 6:16) and it’s very easy to allow things into our Temple that shouldn’t be there…especially during this uncertain and difficult time with the COVID19 virus. So I just want you to ask yourself – “Have I permitted negative emotions such as fear, worry, and doubt to now take up space in my Temple…Have I allowed frustration, irritation, and exasperation to take over my house of prayer?” Today’s the day to clear the Temple.
That could have been me in place of Peter. How can I self-righteously think that I would have behaved any differently? Peter had followed Jesus for three years, watching as He preached, healed, and performed miracle after miracle. But despite all Peter had been part of, he still denied he even knew who Jesus was. Yes, it could have easily been me disowning the Lord. For any time I allow fear to mute my voice in speaking the truth of God…I’m silently renouncing Him…more afraid of possible retribution or embarrassment than speaking up. That’s because when I’m silent instead of standing up for what’s right and good and godly…I’m quietly condoning sin.
The whole of mankind hoped with eager anticipation…awaiting the promise of the fulfillment of the coming Messiah…only to watch Him die a terrible and horrific death on the Cross. The day after that shocking event, the human soul was holding its breath…struggling to remember the words of Jesus while despair tried to crowd out any shred of hope. Human life hung in the balance between hope and hopelessness that fateful day. But God is the God of hope, (Romans 15:13) and we have this hope as an anchor. (Hebrews 6:19) So if today, you’re facing the impossible, the incurable, the irreversible…put your hope in God and fix your eyes on Him. For if God can raise Jesus from the dead, He can breathe life into your sick, dying body, revive a struggling marriage, or break the chains of addiction off a loved one. For as long as there is hope, there’s life.
Here the Prophet Isaiah speaks of the punishment Jesus endured…the flogging, beating, and bludgeoning He bore at the hands of the priests, elders, scribes, and Roman soldiers. (Mark 14:65) The Son of Man was battered beyond identification…disfigured beyond human semblance…for you. He endured it all for you… that you may have fellowship with God and the gift of eternal life.
It says in Matthew 26:62-63, ” Then the High Priest stood up and said to Jesus, ‘Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against You?’ But Jesus remained silent.” In this hastily assembled kangaroo court, the priests, scribes and elders gloated in the fact that they finally had Jesus where they wanted Him. They had lined up false witnesses to testify against Jesus…but He wasn’t taking the bait. The High Priest believed that he was in total control of the situation…but he had no idea that he was simply a pawn being used by God within the annals of eternal redemptive history. Jesus had no reason to answer the High Priest… no need to justify or defend Himself. For the plan of salvation, created before the dawn of time, was playing out perfectly.
When Judas approached the High Priests offering to betray Jesus for them…He basically asked them, “What’s it worth to you?” In observance of the Law, which stated in Exodus 21:32, “If the bull gores a male or female slave, the owner must pay thirty shekels of silver to the master of the slave.”…the High Priests counted out thirty pieces of silver…considering Jesus no more important than a slave.
Unfortunately, Jesus could say this of many of us. We like to hang out with Jesus, but when the going gets tough, we break faith. Fear, embarrassment, not wanting to offend, wishing to be politically correct will all cause us to deny Him to some degree. When someone questions our religion, or mocks our Christian walk we cave and shy away from taking a stand. Yes, we love to just hang with Jesus…but only when we’re not forced into a difficult situation and have to choose.
We can’t save ourselves. We can try, and try, and try…but nothing we’ll ever do can rescue us from hell. We need a Savior…a High Priest that offered the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf…Himself on the Cross…once for all. And in doing so, gave us the greatest gift ever…the gift of eternal life. Jesus Christ is the only answer for this dying world…will you turn to Him today?