Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.
And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. Jn 13:1-5
One of my favorite studies in the book of John is Jesus’ understanding of the times of God (John 2:4; 4:21, 23; 5:25, 28; 7:6, 8, 30; 8:20; 12:23; 17:1). Never was there a man more in tune with Heaven’s clock than was Jesus to His Father’s desires. From the beginning of His ministry, He knew that He had an appointment with death where the Father would glorify Him through the greatest pain any man has ever endured.
What strikes me so much about John 13 is Jesus’ response to the knowledge that His hour had come. Did He always know what day the soldiers would drag Him before Pilate and then to Golgotha; or did He wake up one morning and hear the Holy Spirit whisper to Him, “This is it”? I waver between the two schools of thought, but John 13:1 and 17:1 show us without question that He knew His time had come to die. His response? To serve and pray for those closest to His heart.
Our lives are riddled with divinely inspired times and seasons. JD and I have had several conversations about how we probably would not have been friends had we met in college as opposed to this season in our lives. He was not the man then who, several years later, took days to fast and pray for me with only the assurance of God’s whisper in his heart that I would one day be his wife. And I was a young woman rife with insecurity, bound to the fear of man, desperately searching for approval that only the Father’s love could give to me. God’s timing is perfect.
However, most of the time we do not respond the way Jesus responded when He knew his hour had come. Knowing that a time had come that would rivet every spiritual being’s attention onto Himself, He chose to make His focus everyone else. Are we that selfless in our love–that persistent in carrying others with us to our Father’s throne of grace when we feel His Spirit? Or do we make it all about us, our burdens, our needs, our wants, our ministry, our life, our plans, our purposes, our future?