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"Washing an Unclean Disciple"

Lenten Devotion

"... (Jesus said) 'You are clean, but not every one of you.'
..." (John 13:10b).

Read John 13:1-20. 

Jesus has preached His last message to the crowds. Now
He spends one final night before His suffering and death with
His disciples in the upper room, preparing them for what is
about to happen.

In the middle of supper Jesus does something totally
unexpected. Taking off His outer garments He goes around the
table washing the disciples' feet one by one, the way the
lowliest slave in the household would. It is a demonstration of
His absolute humility, love and care -- a demonstration He will
repeat for the whole world the next day on the cross.

For Peter it is too much. He objects and receives a firm
correction from Jesus: "If I do not wash you, you have no share
with Me." Then Peter goes to the other extreme asking Jesus to
wash all of him. Jesus points out that the one who has had a
bath does not need to bathe again, only to wash the part of him
that is unclean.

Jesus is pointing to Judas, the one who has abandoned his Lord
and become unclean and is even now awaiting the chance to
betray Him. The other eleven are forgiven, cleansed of their sins
because they still walk in the light by faith; Judas has rejected
that light and walks in darkness. Very gently Jesus reaches out
to His lost disciple in an unforgettable demonstration of His love,
 forgiveness and acceptance. It's a demonstration He wants Judas
to remember when he is gripped by guilt and remorse for what he
is about to do.


Lord Jesus, forgive my wandering heart. Help me to see Your great
love for me and remember what You have done to save me. Amen. 

Written by Rev. Wayne Palmer

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