Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he 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. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “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. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
– John 13:3-7, 12-17
In 1st-century Judea, feet had it pretty tough. They were most folks’ primary means of transportation. They touched and trampled through all sorts of muck and mire. They were a mess. When gathering for a meal, where they would recline at a low table to eat, no one wanted those feet close to them. So it usually fell to the bottom-ranked servant to wash everyone’s feet before the meal.
Not so at Jesus’ Last Supper. Instead, the Lord, the Teacher, washed everyone’s feet. He even washed Judas’ feet. And He commands us to do the same! To be true followers of Jesus, we must be humble, willing to serve in whatever capacity He asks of us, with care, respect, and love for all.
I can’t thank you enough. You came in weakness so that I can have the strength to follow. You were crushed and pierced, for me, so that I could stand without blemish in front of your Father. You made yourself small so that I could learn to grow into the person you want me to be. You gave up everything so that I could gain everything. I can’t thank you enough, Lord, for your gift of grace, love, and mercy! Please fill me with Your strength, with Your grace, with Your love, and with Your humility, so that I can follow everywhere that you lead me.