In John 13:1-17 we read about an intimate moment with Jesus and the disciples. It was before the last supper. Jesus knew this was his last moments with them before he was to be crucified. The disciples didn’t know what was coming. Jesus, sat down wrapped a towel around his waist and washed the disciples feet. Now you know how during summer your feet get all gross from walking around in flip flops all day, and if you walked in dirt, talk about disgusting. That is what I imagine the disciples feet to be like. They walked everywhere, with leather straps on their feet. There were no paved roads. Washing someone’s feet was a very lowly job to have, and a complete sign of submission. The disciples were having NONE of that!
6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”7 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”8 “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”9 “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”10 Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.
I couldn’t imagine being one of those disciples. Jesus our teacher, the son of God washing my feet. Me? I think I would have had the same reaction as Peter. What really gets me is that he washes Judas Iscariots feet as well. HE KNOWS Judas is going to betray him. He knows Judas will be sending him to his death. Yet he still humbled himself to wash Judas’s feet as well. What a perfect example of what unconditional forgiveness is. Showing kindness to our enemies, and turning the other cheek. Amazing.
12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
Here is where it gets good. Jesus did this humble service to show them that we are all equal in the eyes of God. No task is beneath us in the name of God. We are not greater than anyone that we can’t help or love them. There is no enemy we can’t show kindness to. It is possible to turn the other cheek. In order to lead others to Christ we must humble ourselves and serve his people.