Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. John 13:1-5
If you have ever walked down a dirt road barefoot or wearing sandals then you know how dirty your feet can get. When it is hot all that dust and dirt can turn to mud. Now imagine that all there was were dirt roads and sandals the only foot ware, that makes for a lot of dirty feet. It was the custom in Israel that when you had guests for a meal you provided someone to wash the guest’s feet. As you can imagine that was not a very pleasant task. In fact it was usually the job of the lowliest servant in the household. It was differently not something the host would ever do.
I can imagine the disciples milling about the upper room wondering where the servant is so they can get their feet washed before reclining at the table. This is a group that will soon be arguing about who is the greatest among them so you can bet none of them will stoop to washing feet. So what does Jesus do? He takes off his robe, strips to the waist and grabs a towel and basin and starts washing the dusty dirty feet of His own disciples. He has placed Himself below those He is teaching. He has become the servant to them. Jesus, God with us humbles Himself to serve His followers. He takes on the lowliest task there is.
We too often forget why we are here and what we are called to do. It is not joining in a foot washing ceremony once a year at church where everyone has made sure their feet are already spotless and well groomed. It is year round serving. It is not putting ourselves about those around us. Each of us in no better than the person next to us, as Christians we are just fortunate to have found Christ. Not because we deserve His mercy or have earned it but because he humbled Himself for us.
Believers need to walk each day in humility looking to find those we can serve. It is not an easy task, pride is always looking to rear its ugly head and whisper to us, look how good you are doing aren’t you glad you are not like those others. To be imitators of Christ we must serve others. Each of us have been given gifts of service, how are you using your gifts?
Have a blessed day,