John 13:9-17 New International Version (NIV)
9 “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”
10 Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their 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.
12 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. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
When I read these verses several words came to mind: HUMILITY, SELFLESS, NON-JUDGMENTAL, ACTION & SERVICE.
Humility-“6 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.” Our Savior, Our King, The Son of God assumes the lowest of tasks. The job of the most low of the low. The task of washing the disciples’ feet! When I think of this, the 1st thing that comes to mind is my wife despises my feet even touching her. She gets really upset if my feet touch her anywhere. I like to think of my feet as half way clean. But the Disciples walked in sandals & the roads were not paved like today, but very dirty & dusty. Add to that a little moisture, sweat-well you get the picture. And here is the Son of God not only touching, but actually washing these filthy, nasty feet. You have to really love & care for someone to humble yourself this much to perform such a demeaning task.
Selfless-For the reasons outlined above. HE didn’t care what the others thought. HE didn’t care how demeaning it was. HE was providing the example for us to follow.
Non-Judgmental-Jesus knew that Judas was going to betray him. He washed Judas’ nasty feet anyway. I have a hard time being civil with someone that I know dislikes me, or that has done something behind my back. And here is Jesus washing the nasty, grimy feet of the very person that will betray him & turn him over for his ultimate crucifixion. There is my model, if Christ can do that without judging, then I can turn my other cheek & forgive someone that talks about me behind my back.
Action-Jesus calls his disciples to action to Service. “14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” He provides the blueprint for us to serve & BLESS our fellow man. He calls us to action, to serve all that we come in contact with. To Bless everyone humbly, selflessly & without judging. That is our calling-To be a disciple & to extend God’s Love, Message & Forgiveness to all people that we encounter.
And tonight as we worship for Maundy Thursday, think about Jesus’ washing of His Disciples feet. As you wipe the feet of the person in line behind you before partaking of communion think about how our Savior humbly served by washing those nasty, disgusting disciple’s feet.
It is a symbolic act. But more than that, it is our call to humbly serve Our Lord & Savior without judgment by following His example.
I truly feel humbled that Jesus has called meto serve & make disciples. Do you feel called to BLESS others? I would love to hear from you.
Father in Heaven,
I pray that out of Your glorious riches you would strengthen ________ with power through Your Spirit in _______ inner being, so that Christ may dwell in ________ heart through faith. And I pray that _______, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all Your holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that _______ may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Amen.