Not long ago, I got a manicure and pedicure, so I would look nice at a particular event I was attending. Who doesn’t like to be pampered once in a while? It reminded me of the night Jesus washed the disciples’ feet. If you have a chance, read today’s entire background passage John 13:1-17.
Let’s look at the first Scripture passage together. John 13:1 sets the scene:
Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father. He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end.
Here Jesus was at the moment of truth – time to carry out the Father’s will. My heart is warmed by the second half of the verse: “He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end.” That piece of the passage tells me Jesus can love me through anything -all the way to the end, which for His followers will be through eternity.
Then this Rabbi, this teacher, this leader of the 12 did something spectacular in the eyes of the disciples (and should inspire us all). John 13:3-5 states:
Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him.
I think the first part of the Scripture, which describes that Jesus had been given authority over everything, makes the second part even better. Oh to be that humble –Jesus was not in charge of a new religion, not a CEO, not an earthly king –He was and is in charge of EVERYTHING, and yet, here He is washing the feet of His creation.
I would have loved to watch the disciples’ faces as this occurred – first disbelief, then shock, then curiosity as He came around to each and every one of them. Peter’s reaction is the only one recorded. Ohhh Peter, always protesting -loudly- everything he didn’t understand.
“No,” Peter protested, “you will never ever wash my feet!” Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me.” John 13:8
I tend to think Jesus liked that quality in Peter, because that passion was later harness and used to spread the gospel. Now, after settling Peter down, the Scriptures say:
You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. John 13:13-15
Although the washing of their feet was symbolic of how they should care for each other, don’t miss the true humbleness behind the act. Washing of feet was a ‘lowly’ job. On top of that, all the disciples had on was sandals. No socks or closed-in shoes, just sandals. And they walked around in sand and dirt all day. Let’s just face it – feet can be ugly! However, Jesus was not offended by their feet, and we should not be offended by other Christians, even if they don’t act so brotherly sometimes. We are called to love and that has to start at home and should continue wherever we go. I believe the real lesson is revealed in verse 16:
I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message.
Be humble, don’t get ahead of yourselves, don’t think more of yourself than you should. For the disciples (and us) – it must always be remembered that the mission is more important than who is carrying it out. Jesus, in all His power and authority, was mighty, but His mission was more important. In fact, EVERYTHING depending on it. We can all learn something from that!
#jesusgaveitall #humble #rememberthemission
Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.