Pilate Washed His Hands ... but Jesus Washed Their Feet!”
Maybe there is no real connection between these two events, or is there?
Both men were leaders, both had power and authority, one from Rome the other from Heaven!
The connecting link is all about accepting responsibility for others.
Pilate stepped back, heeding his wife’s words,
“have nothing to do with this righteous man”; the Lord stepped forward, heeding His Father’s words to have ‘everything to do’ with these less righteous men. We might look for many lessons for present day believers in these two men and their actions.
Look at the contrast!
• Pilate thought only of himself - Jesus thought only of others.
• Pilate was a worldly man - the Lord, “was not of this world.”
• Pilate perished - Christ was raised to die no more!
John 13 is the account of the start of the ‘quiet and private time,’ that Jesus shared with his disciples before He was crucified. We may underestimate just how much Jesus needed and valued the company of His friends.
At the very start – special time
The Lord Jesus began with an act of supreme service; He began washing His disciples’ feet. We can take good note of that scene – the King designate, the High Priest to be appointed, the coming Saviour of the world served His brethren – first!
We might shortlist the elements of those few precious hours like this:
Humiliation| “Jesus took a towel” - “He took upon Himself the role of a servant”.
Demonstration| “He began to wash and wipe” A priestly role.
Exhortation|“I am the Good Shepherd” and “My Father is the true Gardener”.
Restoration|“Father, I pray for them” and “that they may be one...as we are!”
The fellowship we share
This is our special time, and, by faith, we believe – the Lord is present among us too.
They came together. We come together too We can be just the same - listening to Him, praying with Him, watching for Him coming again.
We may be in company of many brethren, with just a few or even quite alone, yet we can feel that we are in the company of many. The Father, Son and children – all together in one.
The two examples
Pilate washed his hands! It is possible to do the same with our brothers and sisters. To be less concerned about their welfare, or standing alongside in their times of distress. To be more concerned to secure our own position.
Jesus washed their feet! It is also possible to do the same to our brothers and sisters. To serve them in the most menial of ways, stooping down, putting off our personal needs and serving one another.
A final word
“...by this will ALL men know that you are MY disciples, in that you have LOVE one for another.”
Bro Neil Todd (New Zealand)