“When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.” John 13:12-15.
In the middle of supper during the Feast of Passover, Jesus stands and takes off his outer garment, grabs a towel, and a water basin. He begins washing the feet of His disciples one by one. The Bible makes no mention of the reactions of the disciples outside of Simon Peter who questions why Jesus would do such an action.
Foot washing itself was not uncommon. As people entered into their homes, a basin of water would be prepared to wash their feet due to the accumulation of dirt, mud, or other debris throughout the long day. More established households would have servants who would wash the feet of the guests at the entrance of the home so as to keep the home clean. Peter was either confused or astonished that Jesus, their Teacher, was taking on the role of a servant or a slave. This was below His rank and character as their Teacher and yet there he was, washing the feet of his disciples. They felt shame that their master washed their feet.
As Jesus returns to His place in the supper, He says the words written above. Throughout all their travels Jesus taught his disciples. He once again was teaching them just before going to the cross the lesson in humility, in purpose, and in service to others. Status, stature, titles, power…these things are not bad in itself but what is the purpose in utilizing them? Jesus has the highest status, the greatest stature, power beyond all, and titles that make all other pale in comparison and yet He assumed the role of a slave to serve them and ultimately to give His life as a sacrifice.
As the year comes to a close, let us take the time to reflect on all that has occurred this past year and let us look at the upcoming year where we may follow His example. Let us be thankful to God for all that we have been blessed by Him and become a blessing to others. Are you ready to live in service to those around you? Would you be willing to follow the example of Christ in humble service to others?”
December 31, 2023