It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.
The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus.
Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God;
so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist.
After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Lord, are you going to wash my feet?"
Jesus replied, "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand."8
"No," said Peter, "you shall never wash my feet." Jesus answered, "Unless I wash you, you have no part with me."9
"Then, Lord," Simon Peter replied, "not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!"
Jesus answered, "A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you."11
For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.
When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. "Do you understand what I have done for you?" he asked them.
13"You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am.14Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet.15I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.16I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.17Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
18"I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill the scripture: 'He who shares my bread has lifted up his heel against me.'19"I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am He.20I tell you the truth, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me."
Now Jehoshaphat had great wealth and honor, and he allied himself with Ahab by marriage.
Some years later he went down to visit Ahab in Samaria. Ahab slaughtered many sheep and cattle for him and the people with him and urged him to attack Ramoth Gilead.
Ahab king of Israel asked Jehoshaphat king of Judah, "Will you go with me against Ramoth Gilead?" Jehoshaphat replied, "I am as you are, and my people as your people; we will join you in the war."
But Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, "First seek the counsel of the LORD."
So the king of Israel brought together the prophets--four hundred men--and asked them, "Shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall I refrain?" "Go," they answered, "for God will give it into the king's hand."
But Jehoshaphat asked, "Is there not a prophet of the LORD here whom we can inquire of ?"
The king of Israel answered Jehoshaphat, "There is still one man through whom we can inquire of the LORD, but I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me, but always bad. He is Micaiah son of Imlah." "The king should not say that," Jehoshaphat replied.
So the king of Israel called one of his officials and said, "Bring Micaiah son of Imlah at once."
Dressed in their royal robes, the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah were sitting on their thrones at the threshing floor by the entrance to the gate of Samaria, with all the prophets prophesying before them.
Now Zedekiah son of Kenaanah had made iron horns, and he declared, "This is what the LORD says: 'With these you will gore the Arameans until they are destroyed.' "
All the other prophets were prophesying the same thing. "Attack Ramoth Gilead and be victorious," they said, "for the LORD will give it into the king's hand."
The messenger who had gone to summon Micaiah said to him, "Look, as one man the other prophets are predicting success for the king. Let your word agree with theirs, and speak favorably."
But Micaiah said, "As surely as the LORD lives, I can tell him only what my God says."
When he arrived, the king asked him, "Micaiah, shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall I refrain?" "Attack and be victorious," he answered, "for they will be given into your hand."
The king said to him, "How many times must I make you swear to tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the LORD?"
Then Micaiah answered, "I saw all Israel scattered on the hills like sheep without a shepherd, and the LORD said, 'These people have no master. Let each one go home in peace.' "
The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, "Didn't I tell you that he never prophesies anything good about me, but only bad?"
Micaiah continued, "Therefore hear the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne with all the host of heaven standing on his right and on his left.
And the LORD said, 'Who will entice Ahab king of Israel into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?' "One suggested this, and another that.
Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the LORD and said, 'I will entice him.' " 'By what means?' the LORD asked.
" 'I will go and be a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,' he said. " 'You will succeed in enticing him,' said the LORD. 'Go and do it.'
"So now the LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouths of these prophets of yours. The LORD has decreed disaster for you."
Then Zedekiah son of Kenaanah went up and slapped Micaiah in the face. "Which way did the spirit from the LORD go when he went from me to speak to you?" he asked.
Micaiah replied, "You will find out on the day you go to hide in an inner room."
The king of Israel then ordered, "Take Micaiah and send him back to Amon the ruler of the city and to Joash the king's son,
and say, 'This is what the king says: Put this fellow in prison and give him nothing but bread and water until I return safely.' "
Micaiah declared, "If you ever return safely, the LORD has not spoken through me." Then he added, "Mark my words, all you people!"
So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah went up to Ramoth Gilead.
The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, "I will enter the battle in disguise, but you wear your royal robes." So the king of Israel disguised himself and went into battle.
Now the king of Aram had ordered his chariot commanders, "Do not fight with anyone, small or great, except the king of Israel."
When the chariot commanders saw Jehoshaphat, they thought, "This is the king of Israel." So they turned to attack him, but Jehoshaphat cried out, and the LORD helped him. God drew them away from him,
for when the chariot commanders saw that he was not the king of Israel, they stopped pursuing him.
But someone drew his bow at random and hit the king of Israel between the sections of his armor. The king told the chariot driver, "Wheel around and get me out of the fighting. I've been wounded."
All day long the battle raged, and the king of Israel propped himself up in his chariot facing the Arameans until evening. Then at sunset he died.
When the LORD heard them, he was very angry; his fire broke out against Jacob, and his wrath rose against Israel,
for they did not believe in God or trust in his deliverance.
Yet he gave a command to the skies above and opened the doors of the heavens;
he rained down manna for the people to eat, he gave them the grain of heaven.
Men ate the bread of angels; he sent them all the food they could eat.
He let loose the east wind from the heavens and led forth the south wind by his power.
He rained meat down on them like dust, flying birds like sand on the seashore.
He made them come down inside their camp, all around their tents.
They ate till they had more than enough, for he had given them what they craved.
But before they turned from the food they craved, even while it was still in their mouths,
God's anger rose against them; he put to death the sturdiest among them, cutting down the young men of Israel.
In spite of all this, they kept on sinning; in spite of his wonders, they did not believe.
So he ended their days in futility and their years in terror.
Whenever God slew them, they would seek him; they eagerly turned to him again.
They remembered that God was their Rock, that God Most High was their Redeemer.
But then they would flatter him with their mouths, lying to him with their tongues;
their hearts were not loyal to him, they were not faithful to his covenant.