It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”
Jesus was the best teacher ever in so many ways. One thing that He did regularly was to speak and teach something to His disciples and at the same time, or shortly afterward, do and teach the same thing.
The emphasis of this section of the last supper isn’t teaching, though. It’s love. Jesus didn’t teach these guys to love one another and tell them to tell all of His disciples to love one another because He wanted to be famous.
He really loves us.
And if you were going away for a long time, what would you want people to do to the people you loved? You’d want them to love those people too.
Jesus was about to suffer the cross, die, rise from the dead, and ascend to His place of authority in Heaven. He was counting on these 12 self-centered guys and a few hundred other men and women to carry on the Gospel message.
The way He instilled it at the last minute was with humility and service.
When we ‘don’t care what people think’ and ‘do my own thing,’ we reveal that we don’t remember the Last Supper.
Jesus loved the disciples.
He humbled Himself. (This was only the beginning, if you consider the cross.)
He served those around Him.
There were people at the last supper that were demanding their rights and insisting on their own power. And Jesus welcomed them there. He even washed their feet. They were His disciples.
“You will be blessed if you do them,” Jesus said. He was talking about the things He did and the things He said. So many times we think happiness lies behind a secret door of seeking our own things or triumphing in our might and strength.
Jesus said that happiness is in humbling ourselves in the service of others, and we’ll be blessed if we believe Him and act on it.