What Jesus Did! 'Love's Defining Moment' — John 13:1

Friday, September 5, 2014

It was almost time for the Jewish Passover festival. Jesus knew that it was time for him to leave this world. It was now time for Jesus to go back to the Father. Jesus had always loved those people in the world who were his. Now was the time Jesus showed them his love the most.
— John 13:1
Illustration of John 13:1 —  Now was the time Jesus showed them his love the most.

Key Thought

Many poems, songs, books, and movies have been written about true love. Jesus defines it. On the eve of his own torture and death, knowing that of the twelve men in the room with him that 10 men will desert him, 1 will deny him, and the final 1 will betray him, Jesus stoops and does the work of a slave by washing their feet. He loves them to the end. He shows them the full extent of love. We had better pay attention if we want to know what love is! As John tells his Spirit-inspired story of Jesus, he doesn't leave it to our sense of discernment to pick up on the message. If we want to know about true love, we should watch and listen to Jesus in verses that follow in John 13.

Today's Prayer

Holy God, I recognize that love is your very nature. I believe that your relationship with me is built upon your great love for me and your desire to demonstrate that love to me. I confess, dear Father, that I am still learning to love as I should. So teach me to love like Jesus loves. Teach me to redeem others through my love. Free me from my inhibitions and selfishness that block me from loving others like Jesus did. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

It was almost time for the Jewish Passover festival. Jesus knew that it was time for him to leave this world. It was now time for Jesus to go back to the Father. Jesus had always loved those people in the world who were his. Now was the time Jesus showed them his love the most. Jesus and his followers were at the evening meal. The devil had already persuaded Judas Iscariot to turn against Jesus. (Judas was the son of Simon.) The Father had given Jesus power over everything. Jesus knew this. Jesus also knew that he had come from God. And he knew that he was going back to God. While they were eating, Jesus stood up and took off his robe. Jesus got a towel and wrapped the towel around his waist. Then Jesus poured water into a pitcher. He began to wash the followers' feet. He dried their feet with the towel that was wrapped around his waist. Jesus came to Simon Peter. But Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, you should not wash my feet." Jesus answered, "You don't know what I am doing now. But later you will understand." Peter said, "No! You will never wash my feet." Jesus answered, "If I don't wash your feet, then you cannot be one of my people." Simon Peter answered, "Lord, after you wash my feet, wash my hands and my head too!" Jesus said, "After a person has a bath, his whole body is clean. He needs only to wash his feet. And you men are clean, but not every one of you." Jesus knew who would turn against him. That is why Jesus said, "Not every one of you is clean." Jesus finished washing their feet. Then he put on his clothes and went back to the table. Jesus asked, "Do you understand what I did for you? You call me 'Teacher.' And you call me 'Lord.' And this is right, because that is what I am. I am your Lord and Teacher. But I washed your feet {like a servant}. So you also should wash each other's feet. I did this as an example for you. So you should do {for each other} like I did for you. I tell you the truth. A servant is not greater than his master. The person that issent to do something is not greater than the one that sent him. If you know these things, you will be happy if you do them.

John 13:1-17

Related Scripture Readings

Yes, God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son. God gave his Son so that every person that believes in him would not be lost, but have life forever. God sent his Son into the world. God did not send his Son to judge the world guilty. God sent his Son so that the world could be saved through his Son.

John 3:16-17

I loved you like the Father loved me. Now continue in my love. I have obeyed my Father's commands, and I continue in his love. In the same way, if you obey my commands, you will continue in my love. I have told you these things so that you can have the true happiness that I have. I want you to be completely happy. This is what I command you: Love each other like I have loved you. The greatest love a person can show is to die for his friends.

John 15:9-13

Dear friends, we should love each other, because love comes from God. The person who loves has become God's child. And so the person who loves knows God. The person that does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love to us: God sent his only Son into the world to give us life through him. True love is God's love for us, not our love for God. God sent his Son to be the way that God takes away our sins. That is how much God loved us, dear friends! So we also must love each other. No person has ever seen God. But if we love each other, then God lives in us. If we love each other, then God's love has reached its goal—it is made perfect in us.

1 John 4:7-12

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.