Let Me Wash Your Feet

Scripture Reading — John 13:1-17

“Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.” — John 13:14

Doctors removed a big chunk of flesh from my lower leg when I had melanoma, so my stitched-up ankle was tightly wrapped for weeks. My loving husband would get on his knees, unwrap my bandages and hand-wash my sweaty foot. It was a smelly exercise in humility.

In Jesus’ day, when people wore sandals and traveled everywhere on foot, it was a habit of hospitality for household servants to wash the dust-caked feet of all who entered. It would be unthinkable—even shameful—for a person of status to carry out such a menial task. Surely not the Son of God! That’s why Peter protested to Jesus, “No . . . you shall never wash my feet.”

But Jesus had important things to teach—and especially to show that in the kingdom of God, servants and masters are brothers and sisters, and teachers and students respect one another. Male and female, citizens and immigrants, homeowners and homeless, people from every tribe and language and nation—all rank as equals in God’s family.

Jesus, by far the greatest person to ever walk the earth, humbled himself even to death for a bunch of ungrateful sinners. And he not only instructs his followers to imitate his servant heart, but he also promises that we will be blessed in doing so. In what ways can we serve ­others?

Prayer

Lord, make me a servant. Humility does not come easily for me, but please grow in me a desire to serve more than to be served, reflecting your love. Amen. (BMB)