To Wash or Not to Wash?

After Jesus washed His disciples feet on the night just before He was arrested and killed, He said this:

“Do you understand what I was doing? You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you …  Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them.” (John 13:12-17, NLT)

Does Jesus intend for us to wash each other’s feet today? Well, yes, and no!

He seemed to be setting up a ritual that, along with the Lord’s Supper, is to remind us of where salvation comes from and how it’s supposed to impact our lives.

But, if you have guests over and as they enter your home you offer to wash their feet, at best they would think you were joking. If they thought you were serious, they may just turn around and leave thinking you’re really strange.

In Jesus’ day, it was a common courtesy and a need because most people walked barefoot and the rest in sandals. The streets were rarely clean so it was a welcome refreshment to have your feet washed as you entered a home.

It’s not a part of our culture.

What is noteworthy is the fact that Jesus washed their feet. It was usually done by a servant or slave of low status – washing stinky, dirty feet was not something most people enjoyed doing.

What Jesus is telling us is that no task is too low for you and me when it comes to serving others.

He willingly took one of the lowest, most menial tasks in order to serve His disciples and then told them they should follow His example. Just a little later in the conversation Jesus turned this into a New Commandment, when He said:

“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” (John 13:34-35, NLT)

And then He went out and allowed Himself to be tortured and killed. He wants us to know there is no sacrifice we can make that is too great if it will lead someone to salvation.

He wants us to forget about status of any kind and just serve others like He did!

This thought comes from this week’s assignment.
To download the assignment, click here.