We’ve all had to wrestle with forgiveness. We can’t escape hurt feelings or being wronged, and neither could Jesus. In John 13, Jesus models forgiveness in a way that doesn’t allow us to hold grudges. He is sitting at the table with His disciples, fully aware that two of them, Judas and Peter, are about to betray Him.
Jesus’ forgiveness extended beyond simply saying “I forgive you.” Forgiveness is not just something He says; it’s something He puts into action. Jesus kneels and selflessly serves them as He washes their feet, including Judas and Peter. He makes no exceptions. He offers His forgiveness to everyone, no matter what they have done or will do.
We can often read this chapter and be amazed these men sat at the table with Jesus and then turned their backs on Him. We can wonder how Jesus offers forgiveness to men like this, but falsely believe we cannot do the same to the people that have hurt us.
The game changer is when you and I realize we are the same as the men at the table with Jesus. We are the ones who deny Him, and He washes our feet. You and I were far from God, denying Him with our life and deserting Him in our choices, yet He still came for us. That kind of grace cannot stop with the one who benefits from it—we must extend grace, too.
- What did you learn about Jesus from this chapter?
- Have you accepted Jesus’ forgiveness in your own life? Are there things you can’t believe Jesus would ever forgive you for?
- To whom in your life do you need to extend forgiveness? How can you forgive him or her today?