As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. “What you are about to do, do quickly,” Jesus told him…
At this mealtime setting Jesus has taken the role of servant and washed His disciples feet. The lesson: ‘Now that I have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.’ Jesus then predicts Judas’ betrayal and, in the midst of some confusion among the disciples, sends Judas off to do it. ‘Do it quickly,’ Jesus adds.
He tells the disciples that He wasn’t going to be with them much longer, which was true. In 18 hours or so He would be tried, beaten bloodily and crucified. Jesus is soon to tell Peter of his own denial, but first gives this ‘new command’:
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
In this setting, just hours before His death, how is it that Jesus speaks these words? This teaching on love would be better fit on a warm grassy hill in the springtime with the multitudes sitting at His feet. But now? Late in the evening just hours before His crucifixion? Now, sandwiched in-between revealing how those closest to him will betray and deny Him? It seems so out of place… and yet… on display here is the power, grace and love of Jesus Christ. This setting and the circumstances of this night give massive weight to these words of Jesus. This is what He really wants…
Why would we love one another? The biggest reason, I think, would be our love for Jesus. We have grateful hearts when we experience the freedom He has given us, so yes, we will love one another to honor the One who has saved us.
In the next chapter is written these words:
Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching.
Love and obedience. Each is indicative of the other.
There are many who say they love the Lord (and I am in that number). Words are important because they declare my intent, but obedience is stronger than words because obedience is beyond intention. Obedience is implementation of my declared love and loyalty to Jesus.
To God, as well as people, actions speak louder than words.
Lord Jesus, I love you with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. May this day be the living out of those words through my obedience to Your teachings. You are Lord. I am Your servant. Teach me more of Your ways today. Thank You for Your grace which makes that possible.