With this bit of historical trivia tucked away in my mind, I read again through the story of Jesus washing His disciples’ feet. You’ll find the vignette early in John 13.
“Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.”
“During supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray Him, Jesus . . . laid aside His garments; and taking a towel, He girded Himself. Then He poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.”
Now this is important: Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Jesus, was right there, in the room, among the Lord’s disciples. But more important, though the Lord knew Judas had already decided to betray Him, He nonetheless washed Judas’ feet.
Why? Verse one tells us: “He loved them to the end.”
Did you get that? Jesus loved the betrayer to the very end. And even in the garden of Gethsemane, as Judas led the soldiers to capture Him, Jesus called Judas, “Friend.” (Matthew 26:50)
Friend! Loved him to the end!
The Holy Spirit then connected the dots for me. Here is the picture it formed: “What do you think you’ve done that makes you think God is forever done with you? No turning back? No more chances?
Read that again. What do you think you’ve done that makes you think God is done with you?
Don’t believe the devil’s lie when he says you are now beyond God’s redemption, forgiveness and mercy. It is God Himself, speaking through His word, from cover to cover, God Himself promises us NO ONE who still breathes is beyond the reach of His love and willingness to forgive sin – your sin – whatever it is and however often you have done it.
No one. Even you.
What was it St. Paul wrote to those at Rome? “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
What does that mean? It means while you cursed Him – Christ loved you so much He died for you. While you ran as far as you could from Him – Jesus loved you so much He died for you. And even if you have betrayed Him, He still calls you, ‘Friend.’
Judas, in his remorse, turned to the wrong people, and he killed himself. Peter, remorseful over his own form of betrayal, turned to Jesus, and he received forgiveness, and with it, eternal life (John 18 and 21).
Forgiveness and eternal life.
Please. It is not too late to turn to Jesus. His arms remain wide open to you. He’d wash your feet if He were standing in front of you.
And if you listen carefully, you will hear Him still call you, ‘Friend.’