“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love” – Ephesians 4:2 (NIV).
When Jesus’s disciples met and sat down for the last supper they all felt important each in his own right. They had all occupations, like one who was a physician as another was a tax official, before dropping them to follow Jesus. They also had other responsibilities, such as looking after their families.
Seating positions at a table often are a power structure and in this case Jesus would be seated in the middle, signifying the headship. Content in their seats, happily enjoying the evening meal, suddenly Jesus “got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him ” (John 13: 3-4).
This rather unexpected act startled all and Peter the loudest tried to protest but in vain. “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me” (vv 8-9)
After he was done, he explained to all, “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you” (vv 13- 14).
All Jesus was trying to impress on his disciples that for them to be successful as his disciples they needed to practice humility. Because feet are normally the dirtiest low part of our body he drove the point home by stopping low to cleanse that dirt. Touched, and impacted, these men would later go out on a mission of servanthood, each in his own right.
Today, may we taking after this lesson, of stepping down to serve others, practice that humility. For “Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them” (vv 9).
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, as you taught your disciples to practice humility through a simple act of washing their feet, help me to learn from this and practice humility in my walk, this I pray in Jesus’s name!