Washing Each Other's Feet

“Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.” (John 13:3-5)

                We live in a day filled with many modern conveniences.  Among them are paved roads and nice shoes.  If we want to take a stroll, there’s a good chance we can walk down a smooth road in our favorite pair of tennis shoes.  The ancients were not so lucky – if they wanted to take a trip, they were often forced to walk down roads and trails that were dusty or muddy.  And while most probably owned a good pair of sandals, it was not uncommon for a person’s feet to get quite dirty.

                That’s why washing the feet of house guests was a job reserved for servants.  After all, who wants to touch some else’s nasty, smelly feet?  Yet, when Christ had come to His last night with the disciples, He did something they never would’ve expected.  Leaving the Passover table, He girded Himself with a towel, filled a basin with water, and began to wash the disciples’ feet.  Why would the King of glory do such a thing?  He was setting an example for the disciples and for us.

                Jesus said, “You also ought to wash one another’s feet.  I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you” (John 3:14-15).  I’ve participated in “foot washing services,” and those have been some powerful times.  But, I don’t think we actually have to wash someone else’s feet to fulfill the spirit of Christ’s command.  All we need to do is serve one another.  Rather than looking for ways to be first, let’s place others before ourselves and serve them in Jesus’ name.

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