Today is what much of the Church world calls Maundy Thursday- the day we remember The Last Supper of Jesus with His disciples- the Passover. I was reading through this passage in the Bible recently, and the thing that struck me the most this time was how Jesus washed the feet of his disciples before eating together. In John 13:13-17, Jesus says, “13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant[a] is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.”
I thought as I read this that if Jesus said he did this as an example to us- that we should also wash one another’s feet- maybe I should focus on this a little more and look into what he really meant for us to do.
Just a quick google search of foot washing will tell you that in bible times, people did not wear shoes that would protect their feet from becoming dusty from their travels. They wore sandals with leather straps. In that time, it was custom to have clean feet at the dinner table. They would sit on the floor at a very low table, and no one wanted to be looking at dirty feet while trying to enjoy their food.
Washing feet was a dirty, nasty job, but someone had to do it. Friends did not typically wash friends’ feet, but providing a foot washing was a way to show honor to a guest. And it was always the lowest servant of the household that got that assignment. No wonder Peter was appalled at the thought of Jesus washing his feet (John 13:8).
But Jesus said, “I have given you an example.” He did the most menial task. He became the lowliest servant. He took the most humble place. Matthew 20:26-28 says, “…But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Jesus’s ultimate act of service, giving his life as a ransom for us, is so unthinkable, so unimaginable, but so true. What a Savior!
So my prayer as I read these things became more fervent. Change my heart, Lord. Let it be real. I want to follow Your example. Show me how to do this more. Show me more about true humility.
For some reason, that seems like a scary prayer every time I pray it! But still I pray it. How about you?
Have a wonderful weekend celebrating Jesus- King of kings, Lord of lords, Servant of all.
: Karen Melton