We are in a Sunday morning sermon series I am calling “The Bible’s Biggest Losers.” Last week we looked at how the priest and judge Eli lost his family because he knew their sin and refused to restrain them. So far I have been amazed at the ongoing responses to this story from God’s Word.
This Sunday’s “Biggest Loser” is Judas. As I am doing the prep work for this message, I am amazed at the picture that precedes his actual betrayal. Before he went out to betray the Lord, Judas was the recipient of an act of unbelievable humility and grace -Jesus washed His feet!
We can speculate that each of the others who had enjoyed such close fellowship with Christ had some endearing trait – John, “the disciple whom Jesus loved;” Andrew, the one who brought others to Christ; Peter, who so boldly proclaimed, “Thou art the Christ.” All were sinners, yet they believed. But then there was Judas. Why would Jesus wash the feet of the betrayer? I am not sure there is a definitive answer, but there is something interesting in what Jesus said at the time:
Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. (11) For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.
Would Jesus’ words, “ye are clean, but not all” cause all of the disciples to examine their own hearts, as is suggested by some commentators? I am not sure, but that is certainly the effect it has on my heart. I am considering how often I give in to temptation. It is no surprise to the Lord. Jesus knew it would happen, and He did more than humble Himself to wash my feet. He humbled Himself and died on the cross for my sin (Philippians 2:8).
God help us not to betray the One who loves us so!