Jesus’ Life: Chapter 16 – The Last Supper
The Passover meal, as celebrated in Jesus’ era, was not as elaborate as it is today; since then other traditional observances have been added. However, its basic components remain unchanged; a mixture of praying, singing, storytelling and a meal.
Jesus, despite his imminent arrest, torture and crucifixion, was looking forward to it. He said to his Apostles, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God”.
During the meal, Jesus got up, filled a basin with water and tied a towel around his waist. He then, to their amazement, started washing the Apostle’s feet and drying them with the towel!
Yes, most people wore sandals in those days and their feet got very dirty so, washing was common practice but if you didn’t wash your own feet, it was done by lowly servants, not Masters!
When Jesus came to Simon Peter, he refused to let Him saying, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet? … You will never wash my feet”. Jesus answered, “What I am doing, you do not understand now, but you will understand later. Unless I wash your feet, you will have no inheritance with me”. Simon said, “Master, then not only my feet but my hands and head as well”.
When Jesus finished washing his Apostle’s feet, he removed the towel, returned to the table and said, “Do you understand what I have done for you? You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and do so correctly, for that is what I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you too ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example – you should do just as I have done for you. I tell you the solemn truth, no slave is greater than his master, nor is the one who is sent as a messenger greater than the one who sent him”. (Matthew 10:24, Luke 6:40, John 13:1-20)
Jesus was a ‘messenger’ from God the Father, doing as his Father had asked of Him including, dying on a Cross. His action of washing the Apostle’s feet, he did happily, as a servant but also as Lord and servant to his Father in heaven.
Jesus’ message to the Apostles was that they should be humble and serve one another, just as He had done to them.
Are you humble?
Note: Jesus also washed the feet of Judas, who he knew was about to betray him.
Lord Jesus, in our unequal world, guide me in my daily actions. Help me to be more like You were to your Apostles, serving others.
Prayer: Come Holy Spirit
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful,
and kindle in them the fire of Your Divine Love.
Send forth Your Spirit and they shall be created,
and You shall renew the face of the earth.
Oh God, Who by the light of the Holy Spirit
instructed the hearts of the faithful.
Grant, that by the same Spirit we may be truly wise and
ever rejoice in His consolation.
We ask this through Christ Our Lord. Amen.