“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.” (John 13:1)

The image with this blog was sent to me a while ago. I printed and framed it, and now it sits on top of a bookcase in my office. I have spent many quiet moments sitting with it, imagining what was happening for each person in this scene, imagining myself in it. There is so much to be said about it, but today I am struck by the words in the passage from which this scene is drawn: “Jesus knew…”

Jesus knew that his death was imminent; he knew that he was going to be betrayed and abandoned by the men whose feet he was washing; he knew that he was going to witness and be subjected to the deepest expressions of depravity and cruelty that exists.

But Jesus knew something else, too. He had come to a deep understanding of who he was and who his Father was. He knew the Father’s love for him. He knew his faithfulness, and he trusted him fully. Whatever lay ahead for him had to pass through the Father’s hands. So instead of planning his defence, counter attack, or escape, he “wrapped a towel around his waist … and began to wash his disciples’ feet.”

When I am tempted to melt in fear and lose all courage, I remember Jesus’ calm confidence in his Father. I am reminded that God is “the strength of my heart” (Ps. 73:26), and I am able to remain steadfast.

I invite you to spend a few minutes with this image and with the words written for us in John 13:1-5.
What is the message, encouragement, or invitation Jesus extends to you today?