Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. John 13:14-15
Today’s scripture is from John 13:1-20.34-35. In this scripture the time is shortly before the Passover Feast. Jesus and his disciples are sitting down to a meal and Jesus knowing the time has come for him to leave this world decides to show his disciples the full extent of his love by washing their feet.
The first time I read this I thought ‘Oh how yuk and weird is that?! Can you imagine Jesus and his disciples all sitting around the table for dinner and just as the food starts to be served Jesus gets up, takes off his outer clothing wraps a towel around himself, fills a basin with water and begins to wash people’s feet?!? The thought of washing someone else’s feet sounds pretty disgusting and to top it off he chose to do it just as the food was being served. This would not exactly be my idea of a before dinner appetizer.
We would never think that Jesus who was Lord and teacher would ever have to or even want to wash another person’s feet. Yet he chose to do it and he did it lovingly. Even the fact that Judas Iscariot had already begun to betray him and Peter was soon to follow by denying him did not stop Jesus from this act of love.
Washing someone else’s feet does not sound very appealing to me and I am sure back in those days people did not have the pampered softly manicured feet we have today. They did not have cars so they walked everywhere they went. I am pretty sure those guys had some of the stinkiest, smelliest, dirtiest feet around.
This past weekend I had a little dinner get together of my own. One of my guests was someone I haven’t been liking a whole lot lately. This person is pretty annoying, very loud, and obnoxious and most of the time drunk so for several years I have been avoiding this person like the plague.
Have you ever noticed how some of the people you know come as a packaged deal? Maybe your husband really likes the husband but you don’t get along with his wife? Or you may love hanging out with your Aunt Mable but your Uncle Bud drives you nuts? Since you can not invite only one of them to dinner and not invite the other they become a package deal. Everyone loves a package deal when shopping but package deals are maybe not so good when it comes to people.
When my guests arrived I was determined try my best to be kind, friendly and most of all stay away from that guest! I was very thankful that most the day everything pretty much worked it out to where I was able to stay away from my favorite (sarcasm) guest. But then somehow after dinner I ended up alone in conversation with the person I had been avoiding most of the day.
I began to make small talk while in my mind I secretly worked on my plan of escape. Then all the sudden this person began telling me stuff I never knew about them. In the course of the conversation I found out the person had pretty well hit rock bottom. They also knew that they had screwed their life up to the point of hurting their health and family. This person was now stuck in a huge pit of despair caused by their own self destruction had been trying desperately to find a way out. My heart began to feel stabs of pain. The pain I felt was not my pain but the pain that this person was feeling inside. Then I began to notice that to be added to that was the pain of people like me who were judging and ignoring them.
The more I listened I realized that nothing could ever compare to the time that I sat there just listening and conversing with this person as they poured their heart out. All of the sudden I wanted to give this person my help and love. This person needed to know someone cared about them and that there is always hope.
This conversation was kind of like a foot washing to me, by taking the time to listen I was in a sense washing this person’s feet. While washing I began to realize I was giving them my love and compassion and did not expect anything back in return. Something else I discovered was when I stooped down to the level of someone else I saw that there really had never been any level at all.
How will I live more second today? By trying to be an example of Jesus’ love, by loving unconditionally, humbly and maybe even washing a few dirty feet… starting with my own.
The Lord and Teacher became servant. And he calls us to do the same. Whatever honor we have earned, whatever rights we have acquired, whatever prestige we hold, Jesus calls us to set those aside and become a servant, an example of love and humbleness’ – Live Second
Thank you for reading 🙂