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Fellow servants of Christ,
on the first Passover a basin of blood was collected
to wash the lintels and doorposts of the Hebrews
to save them from the Angel of Death
on this night Jesus set an example for the disciples
He whose blood completed the salvation
took a basin of water, and a towel
and washed his disciples feet
an act of humble service.
Remember that strength and growth in God’s reign
come by lowly service such as this.
Amen.

Gospel Reading - The Last Supper

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1-3Jesus knew on the evening of Passover Day that it would be his last night on earth before returning to his Father. During supper the devil had already suggested to Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, that this was the night to carry out his plan to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had given him everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. And how he loved his disciples! 4So he got up from the supper table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his loins,a 5poured water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel he had around him.

6When he came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, “Master, you shouldn’t be washing our feet like this!”

7Jesus replied, “You don’t understand now why I am doing it; some day you will.”

8“No,” Peter protested, “you shall never wash my feet!”

“But if I don’t, you can’t be my partner,” Jesus replied.

9Simon Peter exclaimed, “Then wash my hands and head as well—not just my feet!”

10Jesus replied, “One who has bathed all over needs only to have his feet washed to be entirely clean. Now you are clean—but that isn’t true of everyone here.” 11For Jesus knew who would betray him. That is what he meant when he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

12After washing their feet he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing? 13You call me ‘Master’ and ‘Lord,’ and you do well to say it, for it is true. 14And since I, the Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. 15I have given you an example to follow: do as I have done to you. 16How true it is that a servant is not greater than his master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends him. 17You know these things—now do them! That is the path of blessing.

18“I am not saying these things to all of you; I know so well each one of you I chose. The Scripture declares, ‘One who eats supper with me will betray me,’ and this will soon come true. 19I tell you this now so that when it happens, you will believe on me.

20“Truly, anyone welcoming my messenger is welcoming me. And to welcome me is to welcome the Father who sent me.”

21Now Jesus was in great anguish of spirit and exclaimed, “Yes, it is true—one of you will betray me.” 22The disciples looked at each other, wondering whom he could mean. 23Since Ib was sitting next to Jesus* at the table, being his closest friend, 24Simon Peter motioned to me to ask him who it was who would do this terrible deed.

25So I turned andc asked him, “Lord, who is it?”

26He told me, “It is the one I honor by giving the bread dipped in the sauce.”d

And when he had dipped it, he gave it to Judas, son of Simon Iscariot.

27As soon as Judas had eaten it, Satan entered into him. Then Jesus told him, “Hurry — do it now.”

28None of the others at the table knew what Jesus meant. 29Some thought that since Judas was their treasurer, Jesus was telling him to go and pay for the food or to give some money to the poor. 30Judas left at once, going out into the night.

31As soon as Judas left the room, Jesus said, “My time has come; the glory of God will soon surround me—and God shall receive great praise because of all that happens to me. 32And God shall give me his own glory, and this so very soon. 33Dear, dear children, how brief are these moments before I must go away and leave you! Then, though you search for me, you cannot come to me — just as I told the Jewish leaders.

34“And so I am giving a new commandment to you now — love each other just as much as I love you. 35Your strong love for each other will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

. . . . .John 3:1-35
  1. As the lowliest slave would dress.
  2. Literally, “There was one at the table.” All commentators believe him to be John, the writer of this book. was sitting next to Jesus, literally, “was reclining on Jesus’ bosom.” The custom of the period was to recline around the table, leaning on the left elbow. John, next to Jesus, was at his side.
  3. Literally, “He, leaning back against Jesus’ chest,” to whisper his inquiry.
  4. Literally, “dip the sop.” The honored guest was thus singled out in the custom of that time.

Intercession

Please remember our Prayer Requests

O Lord, you are our God: we call upon you all day long.
Lord, have mercy. E te Ariki, kia aroha mai.
Rescue the weak and poor,
deliver them from the power of the wicked.
Christ, have mercy. E te Karaiti, kia aroha mai.
Lord, our souls wait for you,
for our hope is in your word.
Lord, have mercy. E te Ariki, kia aroha mai.
Amen.