And yet, Jesus can never be provoked to cast off those who continue to come to Him for mercy. His love is infinite and unconditional. It is not dependant on your good works but on His unchanging character.
Jesus was willing to wash Judas’ feet. He knew He was going to be betrayed by Judas. He knew that Judas’ actions would lead to His torture and death on a cross within 24 hours.
But He washed Judas’ feet just the same. And He washed the feet of the other disciples, knowing that they would all walk away and leave Him before breakfast.
Melancthon, the first systematic theologian of the reformation ,makes this point about Jesus patience with the continuing weakness of His disciples.
First, He is willing to tolerate wickedness for a season. Second, Jesus is willing to hold off from exposing our sin for as long as possible. Third, He is willing to plainly and gently warn those who stray before leaving them forever.
This is love in action. Love does not delight in evil but seeks cover and wash away a multitude of sins.
And so, we have no reason to hesitate in coming to Jesus. He who loves us at the first, loves us to the last. We have no reason to not come to Him throughout life and let Him who sees everything, see our dirty feet.
Jesus does not shy away from us in our weakness.
He doesn’t cross the street when He sees us coming. And, He has left an example for us to do likewise with each other. To overlook, to cover, to cleanse and to forgive – and so prove to be His disciples.