It was during supper, when the devil had already put [the thought of] betraying Jesus into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, that Jesus, knowing that the Father had put everything into His hands, and that He had come from God and was [now] returning to God, got up from supper, took off His [outer] robe, and taking a [servant’s] towel, He tied it around His waist. Then He poured water into the basin and began washing the disciples’ feet and wiping them with the towel which was tied around His waist. – John 13:2-5 AMP
Think about this: Knowing Judas was about to betray him, Jesus still got up from the table and chose to wash the feet of all the disciples. Yes, all the feet, not just the feet of those He knew would be faithful.
According to this portion of Scripture, Judas was still in the room when Jesus humbly performed an act usually relegated to a lowly servant. This means Jesus actually washed the very feet that would soon walk out that door to betray Him. He even indicates this during His exchange with Peter: “Jesus said to him, ‘Anyone who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, and is completely clean. And you [My disciples] are clean, but not all of you.’ For He knew who was going to betray Him; for that reason He said, ‘Not all of you are clean’” (John 13:10-11 AMP).
According to 1 Peter 2:21, we are to follow in the steps of Jesus. We are to live our lives as He did, doing all for the glory of God, even if this means, as it oftentimes does, doing the opposite of what human nature wants to do. Human nature wants to get back at those who hurt us. Human nature wants to repay evil for evil. Human nature wants others to “get what they deserve.” But God calls us out of the ways of the world. He calls us to wash the feet of our enemies, pray for our enemies, and love our enemies. No, we are not to be doormats, for Jesus wasn’t a door mat. He chose to lay His life down. He chose the way of a servant. He walked humbly knowing full well His true position. Nevertheless, we must realize if Jesus willingly gave up His throne for a time to save sinners like us–if He willingly got on His knees to wash the feet of His betrayer–then we too must be willing to get off our man-made pedestals and serve. Even if this requires serving our enemies.
I am not sure what your life looks like today. You may be surrounded by people who encourage you and lift you up and support you. If so, be grateful. Or you may be surrounded by the enemy. Day after day you feel the familiar stab of betrayal at the hands of those you had once trusted. Well, I want to encourage you to remain faithful. Remain steadfast in your desire to follow the steps of our Lord. Remain diligent in your efforts not to stoop to the level of your enemy, or as my family often encourages each other: “Take the high road.” Take the road that leads to righteousness while trusting in God’s faithfulness to recompense each of us–including our enemies–according to our deeds. Walk this life as Jesus did. “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).