Did Francis do what Jesus Did?
On Thursday, March 28, 2013, Pope Francis performed the Mass of the Last Supper at Rome's juvenile prison "Casal del Marmo." At this service he washed the feet of twelve inmates including two girls and two Moslem boys. Other Popes have performed the ceremony on priests.
Jesus's -- Yeshua's -- foot-washing ceremony was a deeply personal moment with His followers; not for people from the general population. Pope Francis chose to ignore this central element of Jesus' ceremony.
Does it matter? The Pope claims to be God's sole representative on Earth with ultimate spiritual authority over millions of Roman Catholics. His word is their law. Like our president, the Pope's word and his example must be aithful to the Bible or it is false teaching.
After washing the feet of His disciples, including the traitor, Jesus returned to the table and declared: "I'm not talking to all of you. I know which ones I have chosen. The words of the Tanakh must be fulfilled that say, 'The one eating my bread has turned against me.'" John 13:18 With that, Judas left the dining hall.
What Pope Francis did seems so "holy," but is it a theatrical, 'Jesus feel-good example' that trivializes the profound, solemn purpose of Jesus' personal, foot-washing ceremony for His followers?
Within the family of believers, there is to be a distinguishing code of behavior toward one another that sets them apart from nonbelievers. That was Jesus' message. "Holy" means "set apart."
After Judas left, when it was only His faithful present, Jesus said: "Everyone will know that you are my followers by the fact that you have love for each other." This John 13:35 love is not the same type of love we are to show to our enemies in Matthew 5:43. Different Greek words are used in the two texts, but "love" is translated for both because English does not have distinguishing translations for them. The context defines.
Jesus/Yeshua, His disciples, and Paul of Tarsus were no limp-wristed, mealy-mouthed do-gooders. They were bold and brave clear-thinkers who did not hesitate to spotlight wrong teaching.
Jesus warned in the Sermon on the Mount: "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them." Matthew 7:15-23
Have Pope Francis' twelve young criminals accepted Jesus/Yeshua as their Messiah? The two Moslem boys? If not, John the Beloved's warning might be appropriate: "Watch yourselves, so that you won't lose what you have worked for, but will receive your full reward. Everyone who goes ahead and does not remain true to what the Messiah has taught does not have God." 2 John 8-9
Would Paul stand before Pope Francis and say something like he does in 2 Corinthians 11:13-15: ". . . those who want an excuse to boast that they work the same way we do. The fact is that such men are pseudo-emissaries; they tell lies about their work and masquerade as emissaries of the Messiah. There is nothing surprising in that, for the Adversary himself masquerades as an angel of light; so it's no great thing if his workers masquerade as servants of righteousness. They will meet the end their deeds deserve."