If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example that you also should do as I did to you.
What an amazing concept! The Creator of everything we know and see down on His knees washing the dirty feet of twelve poor men! The life and teachings of Jesus are filled with examples and instructions for the Christian walk. Here in this upper room, just hours before Christ is to be betrayed, the Lord gives a direct command to His disciples. He instructs them to wash one another’s feet, this being a true sign of humility.
Surrounded by pavement and closed toed shoes, I have to admit that washing another individuals feet doesn’t often cross my mind. When Jesus walked this planet people didn’t exactly have the luxuries of asphalt or Nike. The roads were covered in dust and the people wore sandals if anything at all. One of the lowest and most humiliating positions was to be the individual that washed off the guest’s feet after he or she arrived at a certain location. Furthermore, a master would never wash the feet of a servant and a teacher would never wash the feet of his students. This is what makes not only Jesus’ actions, but His command as well, such an amazing concept. In verses 16 and 17 of the same chapter Jesus tells His disciples that, “a slave is not greater than his master; neither is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things you are blessed if you do them.”
The truth is, I may not have many opportunities to wash other people’s feet, but that shouldn’t stop me from finding another way to serve those around me. You and I both encounter individuals every day who need the love and compassion of Christ demonstrated in their lives. We approach strangers that may need assistance in one way or another, friends that need someone to stick up for them when no one else will, and family that is looking for love but seldom finds it. All of these actions require much more than love and compassion, they also require us to give up our pride and selfishness. As hard of a task as this may often be, we cannot forget that Christ commanded us to do so. If the Lord can wash the feet of Judas, who would soon betray Him, I can most certainly take a little time out of my day to offer a listening ear to someone who needs it. I can sacrifice a day at the pool or the beach to help my neighbor on his house or I can give up my summer to feed inner city children. It’s not a suggestion the Lord has given me, it’s a direct command. When was the last time you offered yourself to someone else? I challenge you to make it a point to do so today!