Jesus gave us no doubt on how we were to treat one another. He left it pretty obvious on how we were to act towards one another.
John records the actions of Jesus at the last supper. John shares how Jesus made it plain that we are to wash one another’s feet.
'Wait just a minute. Wash their feet? Did I read that right?’
Yes, you did; but it’s not what you think.
In those days, and in that culture, it was customary for guests to have their feet washed after arriving. People generally wore sandals and walked everywhere they went in a dusty middle easter climate. Their feet got dirty and uncomfortable. It was good manners to offer your guest a foot washing.
It was a lowly, menial task that was relegated to the servant of the household. So when the disciples filed into the room for the passover meal no one volunteered for the job. After all they weren’t lowly servants and weren’t about to stoop down to wash feet. It was a servant’s job; so let’s leave it to them.
Jesus got up from the table, put aside his robe and put on a servant’s apron. He began to go around the table washing His disciple’s feet. How scandalous! How ghastly! How could the men allow this to continue? Jesus was their leader and their Lord. How could their Lord stoop so low as to take on the role of a servant?
Jesus answered this burning question by saying this:
“Do you understand what I have done to you? You address me as ‘Teacher’ and ‘Master,’ and rightly so. That is what I am. So if I, the Master and Teacher, washed your feet, you must now wash each other’s feet. I’ve laid down a pattern for you. What I’ve done, you do. I’m only pointing out the obvious. A servant is not ranked above his master; an employee doesn’t give orders to the employer. If you understand what I’m telling you, act like it—and live a blessed life. (John 13:12-17 The Message)
Jesus left no doubt how we are to act towards one another. If our Lord could stoop low enough to serve in such a menial way, how much more should we, His disciples, do so for one another.
This isn’t to suggest that we literally wash our friend’s feet when they come to visit but it is to suggest that we take on the role of a servant in our relationships. One of the most profound ways to show care and love for someone is to stoop low and serve; not because you are lower than they but because of love.
Jesus left us the prime example.
In this foot washing scene and in the bloody scene of Calvary, Jesus stooped lower than anyone.
He made it obvious. There isn’t a hidden lesson here. It is quite obvious.
We are to stoop down low and serve one another as He served us.
Lord, thank you stooping so low to serve humanity through Calvary’s cross. We ask you to help us see the opportunities to help and serve the others as You have taught. Let us see our families, friends and enemies as people in need of love; love that can be shown by genuine service.