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I Need to Wash Feet

I am, naturally, an arrogant, self-serving person (if I’ve used you before I met Christ, if I took advantage of you, or treated you rudely or arrogantly, I repent of it and beg your forgiveness!). Some of you who know me personally, may disagree, but I can only attest what you see to the effect of Jesus in my life. Left to my own devices, I want to be the smartest person in the room, have all eyes on me, and get my way all the time. Naturally, though, I think we’re all a bit self-centered or self-serving. Even should we lean toward more timid or cowardly tendencies, the “fight or flight” within us is all about serving self. The attitude of Jesus Christ is opposite of this, though. In His life and ministry, Jesus was about doing the will of His Father and (also by) serving others. Whatever His own personal wants, wishes and desires were, they were put aside in light of obedience and love (Hebrews 4 says He was tempted in every way and did not sin, and Hebrews 2 says He suffered in His temptations; He did that for the Father and for us!).

No greater example of this, apart from the cross, was when Jesus served His disciples by taking the role of a servant, one that none of them offered to take, and humbled Himself by washing their feet. This humbled every man in the room, even though one would betray Him. If we, then, are called by Christ and full of the Holy Spirit, this must be what we do as well. We must humble ourselves, taking the lowest of the low positions (even if we’re in roles of authority), and wash one another’s feet. And when we wash feet, we must do so, not for any gain, but, like Jesus, silently serving without drawing attention to ourselves, letting the act speak for itself. We should love and serve God and one another, serving in the lowliest of ways and in the places He puts us in. We should serve without complaint, never saying “that’s not my Job,” but willingly wash feet, that, through our humble submission, God may use us to bring about the Kingdom Jesus ordained us for this world, and in the time to come.

John 13:1

Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.” For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled, ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’ I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.”

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