“Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; He rises from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.”
In this scripture Jesus is planting in the disciple’s hearts a very vivid memory to be cherished and remembered for as long as they would live. Jesus, in this narrative, is trying to say good-bye. He loves these disciples overwhelmingly. I believe He wants to soothe them, touch them, and caress them. He takes water and does something very personal for them. He gently bathes their feet with His hands and then dries their feet very lovingly. He goes around and touches each one of them with a very personal caring moment. That act of love caused them to receive something within their hearts that would stay with them forever. This memory so deep and profound, I am sure would come back to them any time they would close their eyes and think of it. No matter what the circumstance they were in, they would relive that closeness when He had caressed their feet and washed all the dirt from off their feet. He had touched them gently and they knew it was because He loved them. As I have relived that moment with my mother, I am sure they also relived that time over and over again as they would close their eyes and think of Him.
This story reaches even further because in showing them love and in doing this tender act, Jesus was saying to them we ought to love one another not because we have to or out of duty, but because we have been so overwhelmingly loved, we also love. We always need to be ready to act out of the ordinary by giving to someone something soothing, refreshing, caressing, loving, gentle and kind that would plant a vivid memory into that person's mind that they could recall when they find themselves in a hard place. It would be an act of overwhelmingly love compelling them to do something for those who are immediately near them, giving a vivid memory so that person would know there was a moment in which they were loved. That moment could carry them through life. For these men it was going to be prisons, hard places, and possibly even martyrdom and yet they, knowing they were loved, went ahead to do the impossible, making it possible, and changing their world.
My brother in law, Barry Silliker, went to be with the Lord Thursday evening. It was sudden and unexpected. The news was given to me after I had surgery so it came as a real shock at a vulnerable time. My wife had to tell me this news. Barry left me with a wonderful memory of kindness, love, and understanding. As much as I am broken for the loss, I rejoice in knowing that I was loved by him and he had brought so much to me. Never take anyone for granted. Love them while you have them and be blessed by all they are doing for you.