This is what forgiveness looks like
From John: A 21-Day Devotional
Jesus washes His disciples’ feet, and they share one last meal together. Jesus warns Peter about the separation to come, but Peter doesn’t understand.
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 Judas and Peter are about to betray Him.
Jesus’ forgiveness extends beyond simply saying “I forgive you.” Forgiveness is not just something He says; it’s something He puts into action. Jesus kneels and 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.
“I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you” (John 13:15).
It’s easy read this chapter and be amazed that these men sat at the table with Jesus 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 realizing we are the same as the men at the table with Jesus. We are the ones who deny Him, and He washes our feet. We 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 can you learn about Jesus from this chapter?
• Have you accepted Jesus’ forgive- ness 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 that person today?