He washed his feet of his killer that night. Can you imagine what it was like to show kindness to the man who would sell Him out? He humbled Himself, even to the traitor who would inevitably bring the kiss of death.
Most of us know the story of Judas and how he sold Jesus to the Pharisees for 30 pieces of silver. Jesus would ultimately be found, identified by Judas with a kiss, beaten, and hang on the cross until death.
All for those He loved:
Sitting at my kitchen table this week during quiet time, I thought about Judas. I thought about Jesus. Jesus knew Judas. They were friends. Jesus called Judas to come with Him. They lived together for three years and traveled around the countryside. Judas saw Jesus perform miracles. He witnessed Jesus’s kindness, meekness, and teaching. Jesus saw Judas’s heart. Probably deeper that even Judas could.
Jesus knew Judas, and loved him.
In the past, whenever I’ve read about how Judas betrayed Jesus I automatically despise the man. Anyone who would turnover his friend to death isn’t worthy of being liked, right? At least, that’s where my thoughts always led me.
Until this week.
As I read the story of the last supper in John 13, I was again struck by the humbleness of Jesus. Jesus knew He had authority over everything (v. 3), yet He showed no sign of arrogance and chose to washed the feet of His patrons. Their stinky, dirty, hairy feet.
Often, I don’t even like to touch the dirty laundry, wipe noses, or wash the dirty dishes. But feet? Man feet? Wow. But I love what Jesus taught here. In short, Jesus was showing us this:
To be a true leader is to be a servant first.
He humbled Himself. He put His soon to be enemy first. He washed the feet of Judas, who He knew would be overpowered by Satan within minutes. And He did it with love. He did it out of compassion for His closest companions on earth.
But, of course, Jesus didn’t stop there.
Fast forward a few minutes to when Jesus dipped the bread in the bowl and gave it to Judas. Honestly, I never quite understood this verse. I thought He dipped the bread and handed it to Judas to point out that he was a scoundrel! But this week I found a little note tucked away in my study Bible concerning verse 26 that intrigued me:
The honored guest at a meal was often singled out like this.
I’m sorry…. WHAT?!
After looking up a couple of commentaries I found out that Judas was actually being pointed out as distinguished friend and guest! Don’t believe me? Check this out.
Ellicot’s commentary states:
The act is a token of love and friendship which even now would redeem the heart of full treachery if that heart would receive it.
MacLauren’s Exposition tells us that Judas knew he was discovered as the betrayer and was convicted; yet he was given a wonderful affirmation that he was still loved.
Jesus honored and loved Judas even as Judas was becoming His enemy.
My heart sank deep into by stomach. I may have actually kicked it around in my feet for a while. Jesus truly loved His enemy.
He showed it.
He lived it.
Love everyone, even our enemies. Don’t just love those who are easy to love. Love those who are the most difficult to love.
As Jesus sat at His last meal, He told the disciples His actions were an example to be followed.
Be like Christ.
Absorbing this, I have to question just how far away have I drifted from living this kind of life? Do I live out Jesus daily? Do I really turn the other cheek and bless the unlovable? Do I truly love all as He loves? Or, do I seek justification? Do I seek pity from receiving words that hurt? Do I turn a cold shoulder to those who I deem unlovable?
Jesus loved Judas and assured him of this all the way up to the moment of betrayal.
He knew but He still loved.
Can I even wrap my brain around that? This is so hard for me to grasp! When was the last time I showed that kind of love? Honestly? I can’t remember…
Ouch. *insert sting here*
I like to think that I’m a good Christian and love aallllll people. But in reality, I have A LOT of work to do in this area. Some days, friends, I even struggle showing my closest friends and family love, let alone being kind to someone who has hurt me.
And you know what came to my mind during all of this? I’m sure that I am one of those people who are hard to be loved. Me. Definitely me. But somehow deep down inside my heart I think I deserve to be loved by all.
I’m not living the example Christ gave us to follow. I’m living in pride, fear, and worry.
Thank God and praise Jesus for grace, mercy, love, and teaching that are given to those who ask. This week, I’m asking. If you struggle with loving all like I do, ask with me sisters.
Daddy, thank You for Your Son. Thank You for this example of love that You have shown us. Thank You for Your love that you lavish on us every day. Even when we are wayward, selfish, prideful, and unlovable. Forgive us for acting out of line with Christ’s example. Forgive us for not always humbling ourselves when we should. My heart asks that you would teach us. Show us how to love the unlovable even as Jesus loved Judas up to the end. Change our heats. Help us to see and love people from your perspective, not our own. Show us what we can do this week to bless our enemies. Through Jesus’s glorious name we pray, amen.