The account of the Upper Room (Passover) can be found in all four Gospels (Matthew 26:17-30, Mark 14:12-26, Luke 22:7-39, and John 13-17). What happened there is summed up within 10 verses or so in some of the books, but in John it spans five chapters. I really enjoyed the detail in John’s account. At the beginning of John 13, we read of Jesus stooping down and washing his disciples feet – when I re-read this story, two things really stood out to me.
1. Jesus knew Judas would betray Him…
2. …and He washed his feet anyway.
In verses 11-12 it says, “For He knew who should betray Him; therefore said He, ‘Ye are not all clean.’ So after He had washed their feet, and had taken His garments, and was set down again, He said unto them, ‘Know ye what I have done to you?” (Judas didn’t leave the upper room until verse 30 – so he was included in the washing.)
Can you imagine what that would have been like for the Lord? He knelt down on the floor and used His own hands to wash the feet of someone He knew would betray Him! A betrayal that would lead up to His death. Not a job I’d ascribe to the Lord of Glory…but He did it anyway. Why?
You know what I think? When Christ returns and everyone has to answer for themselves concerning their actions, there will be a lot of people who will see a magnificent, glorified, perfect Man…and they’ll think that He’s too good to judge them. That He wouldn’t know what it was like to survive in an evil world. A perfect man with a perfect life wouldn’t be a fair judge, do you think? But though Jesus was a perfect man and lived a perfect life (as far as sin is concerned), the people around Him didn’t accept Him as perfect and let Him know it every possible time they could. The life He led was perfect – but often the circumstances around Him were far less. Then, as if that weren’t enough, one of His very own friends betray Him.
Have you ever been betrayed by a friend or someone you thought was close to you? If your answer is yes, you know what it feels like. But this betrayal cost Him His life!
When I see things like this, I begin to change the way I think when I hear the Lord referred to as the Perfect Man. (Not only was He sinless…) He had a perfect understanding of what life down here is really like – and that makes Him all the more precious to me. He knows what it’s like, for He went through it Himself. Now, when something similar happens to us, not only do we have a perfect example to follow, we know that when the end comes, we’ll have a perfect Judge. Who would be better to judge, than One who has been through it Himself?