12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
What a historically and eternally significant moment we read about here. Jesus and the disciples are looking back and celebrating how God saved the Hebrews from Egyptian slavery. Jesus is looking to the near future where He will be sacrificed to save all who believe in Him from sin and death.
In this highly important moment, Jesus washes the disciples’ feet. He cleanses them physically, when He’s about to cleanse them spiritually. But I love how everyday this is, how human the need to have our dirty feet washed. Jesus is not spouting lofty ideas, divorced from our skin and bone existence. No, He takes off His outer robe, wraps a towel around His waist and washes the dirty, smelly feet of those who follow Him.
As Jesus was preparing to face the agony of the cross, He was still focused on His mission of teaching His disciples God’s way of selfless love and servanthood. If Jesus could love others in this moment, then I am challenged to do the same, no matter what my circumstances are.
Jesus, please help me to receive your love for me, your willingness to wash my dirty feet and be near to those dirty parts of my inner world that need cleansing. Fill me with your love for others, that I too would folllow your example and wash the dirty feet of those around me. Amen.
Written by Ps. Beth Waugh