Today’s Scripture: John 13:1-5; 12-17
Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father. He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end. 2 It was time for supper, and the devil had already prompted Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. 4 So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, 5 and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him.
12 After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing? 13 You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. 14 And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. 15 I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. 16 I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message. 17 Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them.
Yesterday we talked about being the presence of Christ and brining the light of Christ into the world. In today’s passage we get a concrete example of how to do just that – and it’s all about washing feet.
Jesus told his disciples (and therefore us!) that he has given them an example – since he washed their feet, they should wash each other’s feet. There are times when we actually do wash each other’s feet – usually in Maundy Thursday worship services. But washing other people’s feet in 2020 is not something that usually crosses our minds.
So how are we to read this passage as current-day disciples? How are we supposed to take seriously Jesus’ command to wash feet?
I think the answer comes in hospitality and service. Both are important.
To wash someone’s feet today means to welcome them – no matter how “dirty” they are. A good host will make people feel comfortable and cared for. As disciples we must be hospitable. We must be people of welcome and invitation. Because that’s how God is.
But more than that, we must discover needs that others have and strive to meet them. This is the service part. Washing someone’s feet in Jesus’ time was a need. Sandaled feet walking in a desert get dirty. What are the dirty feet that we see and service today?
We are called to be the presence of Christ. If we are to take that calling seriously then we will follow his example of hospitality and service. Keep an eye out today for ways to welcome and ways to serve. Listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit to act as Jesus would act toward those who cross your path this day.
God thank you for the example of Jesus. Help us to follow him in hospitality and service. Help us to be the presence of Christ this day in everything we do.