When He washes His disciple’s feet, Jesus displays a parable of servanthood that would reflect His whole Work of Salvation on the Cross. He rises from His place of honor at the table, much like He rose from the splendor of His Heavenly Throne. He lays aside His robe as He laid aside His Divinity. He girds Himself with a towel to perform the duty of a servant, just as He put on humanity in order to give Himself completely to the Work of His Father. And He pours water into a basin for washing, just as He would pour out from Himself His own blood to cleanse us from our sin. Jesus does this Work not just for His disciples, but for the whole world. As He tells Simon Peter, one must receive Jesus and His Work in order to belong to Him.
In order to belong to Jesus, we must allow Him to cleanse us of our sin. The Work of Salvation that Jesus did for all is not received by all. His Love for the entire world is only experienced in its fullness by those who belong to Him, who are His own. The Love Jesus has for His own is not more, but it is different. It is different because it is a love that is shared between Him and His people in a close relationship. He has chosen His disciples, and they in turn have also chosen Him. Jesus’ great Love compels us to be one of His own. It urges us to respond by welcoming our Savior and allowing Him to save us, redeem us, cleanse us from our sin. What a joy it is to belong to Jesus, to be cleansed and redeemed by the Holy One of God!