I was on holiday in Milan, Italy and after a long day of wearing my sliders and sight-seeing (the weather was so beautiful that the toes had to come out), I returned to the hotel and my feet were absolutely disgusting! My feet were dusty, had black residue on them and smelling really bad! I HAD to wash my feet, because I actually couldn’t get into bed with them. I mean, I didn’t want to ruin the hotel’s nice white linen! I didn’t want my feet to tarnish the sheets.
I took the time to wash my feet in the shower and I was gently reminded of the time when Jesus washed His disciples’ feet. The story can be found in John 13:1-17. It recalls the time during the last supper, Jesus decides to wash His disciples’ feet. Peter (who is always doing the most lol) protested and was like, “no, you will never wash my feet!!” Peter highly regarded Jesus, so for Jesus to actually want to wash their dirty feet is actually insane. Jesus tells them “unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me,” (verse 8). Peter in his zeal gets over-excited and asks Jesus to wash him all over! Not just his feet! Imagine, these lads are out all day on dusty roads. They are walking around somewhere in the middle east, warm climate, no pavements, just dust. IMAGINE THE DIRTINESS OF THEIR TOES!
Jesus continues, “you call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord’ and you are right, because I am. Since I have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet.” (verse 13-14). Through the washing of their feet, Jesus teaches that since he, the teacher, has washed their feet, they must do the same for each other. He also tells them that He is the example to follow. This story teaches of Jesus’ humility and servanthood. Here, the man who was above them, a man they highly regarded and looked up to, was before them washing their dusty feet.
This story convicts me because it causes me to look at myself and question, “who’s feet have I washed (metaphorically) recently?” Have I humbled myself and served someone even though I won’t gain anything from the act or them? What would Jesus gain from washing His disciples’ feet besides smelly hands? As Christ’s followers, we ought to follow His example. Humble ourselves and serve each other, regardless if there is something to gain. We must seek to build each other up in love and humility. Sometimes our pride gets in the way and we don’t want to serve someone else because they’ve hurt us or we feel like they don’t deserve our time and efforts.
But a reminder here, Jesus washed Judas’ feet knowing that Judas was going to betray Him. MAD. We must be willing to serve everyone and anyone – even our enemies. Let’s not make it about ourselves and who’s going to wash our feet, but let’s find others whose feet we can wash. Although our reward is not here, I am fully confident our reward is in Heaven.