Quinquagesima Week – Monday
Note: Quinquagesima is the Sunday before Lent. The word means fiftieth, denoting some fifty days before Easter.
If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. – John 13:17.
On Thursday morning, the disciples came to Jesus, saying: “Where wilt Thou that we prepare for Thee to eat the Passover?” (Matthew 26:17). And He said: “Go into the city to such a man and say to him, The Master saith, My time is at hand, and I will keep the Passover at thy house with My disciples” (v. 18). And the disciples did as Jesus had told them, and they made ready the Passover. Now when the even was come, He sat down with the Twelve. And there arose also a contention among the disciples, “which of them should be accounted the greatest” (Luke 22:24).
And Jesus rose “and laid aside His garments, and He took a towel and girded Himself. After that He poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith He was girded. Then cometh He to Simon Peter, and Peter saith unto Him: ‘Lord, dost Thou wash my feet?’ Jesus answered and said unto him: ‘What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter.’ Peter saith unto Him: ‘Thou shalt never wash my feet.’ Jesus answered him: ‘If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with Me.’ Simon Peter saith unto Him: ‘Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.’ Jesus saith to him: ‘He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit; and ye are clean, but not all.’ For He knew who would betray Him; therefore said He: ‘Ye are not all clean.’ So after He had washed their feet, and had taken His garments, and was set down again, He said unto them: ‘Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord, and ye say well, for so I am. If I, then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you: The servant is not greater than his lord, neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.’” (John 13:4-17).
We Christians are clean through faith in God’s grace in Christ’s vicarious atonement. God, for Jesus’ sake, has forgiven us the sins which defile us on our journey through this life. And this God gladly does daily and richly to us and to all believers. And so, in gratitude for this priceless gift of forgiveness from our God in Christ Jesus, we Christians ought to be kind to one another, and willingly forgive one another, and serve one another in every possible way. If our Lord and Master humbled Himself to serve us, we should be willing to humble ourselves in service to one another (Galatians 5:13).
If we know these things, happy are we if we do them, in order to show, both to ourselves and to our brethren, that we are attached, by faith, to “the true Vine” (John 15:1), Christ Jesus.
PRAYER – Lord Jesus, my Savior, I thank Thee that by Thy blood Thou hast cleansed me of all my sins, and that Thou richly and daily forgives me all my sins. Grant me a continuing rich measure of Thy Holy Spirit, working through Thy Word, that I may prove myself again and again to be one of Thy disciples, gladly forgiving my repentant neighbor when he has offended me, and more and more loving and serving him. Amen.
May Thy rich grace impart, strength to my fainting heart;
my zeal inspire! As Thou hast died for me, oh, may my love to Thee;
pure, warm, and changeless be, a living fire!
(Hymn 394, st. 2; TLH)