Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.
2 And supper being ended,[a] the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him, 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, 4 rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. 5 After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded…
12 So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. John 13 (Selected Verses)
A fellow student at Heidelberg College washed my feet 38 years ago. He wasn’t even a close friend, just in passing. I can see his face, but I can’t remember his name. I’m not even sure why I remembered that recently, what triggered the memory.
I just remember that we were hanging out in my room, talking. Something was bothering me. I can’t even guess as to what it was. I just recall that, after listening to me, he asked me to wait. He’d be right back.
Minutes later, he returned with a towel and a bowl of water. He asked me to sit. I did. Then he knelt down to remove my shoes and socks. I began to protest, but he simply looked at me, maybe said something, and I let him wash my feet.
After he finished, he simply left. I believe I just sat there for a time before doing…anything.
After some thought and reading John 13, I have several, brief thoughts to share with you.
- He did this for me despite not being a close friend. That’s the kind of servant attitude Jesus was trying to teach His disciples.
- We often speak metaphorically in terms of “washing people’s feet.” What if we literally did that for people to comfort them, sooth them?
- I sometimes rub my wife’s feet with lotion when they are giving her pain. Could we do that or wash the feet of people we don’t know well?
- Many people are Biblically illiterate and may not understand the Biblical origin, but would that have any less of an impact? If they don’t know the reference, that might be a great opportunity to tell them the story.
- I’m nowhere near being the biggest blogger on the web. I often wonder if I do anyone any good. Just like I can’t remember my passing friend’s name, he likely hasn’t thought of it in decades and never will again. He may even be dead now. But his act is still remembered by me.
And now by you…