“He now showed the disciples the full extent of his love… So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel he had around him.”
John 13:1b, 4-5, NLT
Washing feet. Ugh! Feet are ugly. Feet are smelly! Ancient feet were in even worse shape than feet are today. After all, there were no cushioned insoles, professional pedicure technicians, or mountain fresh deodorant powders. The skin was dry, cracked and therefore…well…you get the picture.
.Now that you are nominally nauseous, let me explain. Jesus “…showed the disciples the full extent of his love…” by getting on His knees and washing gnarly, twisted, beaten and battered human feet. At the end of the illustrated sermon He says, “You know these things – now do them! That is the path of blessing (v.17).”
The people we cross paths with on a daily basis are often beaten and battered by the pressures they face. Sometimes events of the past have broken them and no one ever set them right. Now they are a little twisted and dysfunctional. Or maybe they are just dirty with the filth of what they see and hear. They may even be smelly with the odor of attitudes, behaviors and lifestyles that some consider repulsive.
Jesus washed and cleansed the filth. How can we do the same for hurting people? We are kind to those who are different than us. We pour out time, energy, and effort to those who need a bath. We humbly get on our knees and bathe the yet-to-be-reached in prayer and proactive acts of grace. We bring in the neighbor’s garbage cans for them. We baby-sit for a single parent and accept no money for it. We speak words of encouragement and hope to those who have been sullied by emotional assaults and stained by the guilt and shame of past mistakes.
“You know these things – now do them! That is the path of blessing.”
QUESTION: How can you wash the feet of your friends and co-workers? What act of kindness would illustrate God’s love most to your family? Who can you serve today?