“After that, he poured water into a basin
and began to wash his disciples’ feet”
It was startling for the disciples that Jesus should want to wash their feet. With their still dim perception of who He was and what He was about it was entirely foreign. And with their religious background modelled by the Pharisees and teachers of the law it was unthinkable. We can therefore understand and associate with Peter’s first response,
“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” (John 13:8)
However this is not merely a ceremony to be copied annually in churches around the world. It was a stark and true picture of Jesus daily ministry over the previous three years. Wherever He had gone He had in one way or another been reaching into the lives of people to heal and cleanse them from sin and its effects. As the humble and suffering servant His aim was to introduce them to the forgiving and accepting love of God and by taking their sin and suffering upon Himself to set them free. It was small wonder that He was so popular with ‘sinners’ and social outcasts – and He never turned away from them.
For the disciples who had been debating who would be the greatest it was also a clear demonstration that their ministry was to serve and not to be served.
If the annual ceremony is to have its true significance and meaning today it should have been preceded and be followed by regulary ministries of service to those in need and darkness. No one is to be too proud or uncaring to reach out to the needs of others and no one is to be too proud to receive ministry themselves. Our days are meant to include times of ‘kneeling at the feet’ of those in need to bring blessing into their lives – as Jesus did.
God will use us if we are available to Him. Start by praying for those you see.
Lord Jesus please help me to care about the lives of the people around me and show me where I can spread some love, help and healing. Amen.