By Stuart Powell
John 13 describes the interaction between Jesus and his followers on the night he was betrayed. As the meal progressed, Jesus got up from the table, removed his outer clothing, tied a towel around himself, and began washing their dusty feet as a servant would do.
“So when Jesus had washed their feet and put his outer clothing back on, he took his place at the table again and said to them, ‘Do you understand what I have done for you?’” (John 13:12, New English Translation).
Peter didn’t understand. He thought it might be Jesus’ way of elevating him.
The silence of John and the other apostles indicates they didn’t understand either.
If you had lived through that experience, how would you have answered Jesus’ question?
Would you have recognized and understood,
The master became the servant?
The life-giver surrendered his earthly life?
The sinless One took ownership of our sin?
The spotless Lamb of God made his followers clean?
As you receive these emblems of Communion, consider Jesus’ question again: “Do you understand what I have done for you?”
And as you do, recognize that Jesus’ hands didn’t break the bread you are given to eat, but he did pass on the command to remember him as we partake. Jesus never touched the cup in your hand, yet he intended for generations of his disciples to drink of it in remembrance of his sacrifice.
“Do you understand what I have done for you?”
Even if the answer is no, please understand that the fruit of Jesus’ sacrifice is for all who will seek him in faith.
Stuart Powell lives outside of Terre Haute, Indiana, where he serves with the North Side Christian Church.