Our scripture lesson this week is from John 13:1-9. This is the account of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples. If you look this passage up in a Bible commentary you will find information about the washing of a guest’s feet being an act of hospitality. When we read the scripture, we hear Peter asking Jesus to wash his whole body.
As I look at this passage, I think the issue is one of submission. The job of washing a guest’s feet was that of a slave, or house servant. The host would never do this task themselves. Here we have Jesus, the host, teacher, mentor, and leader getting down on his knees and washing the feet of his followers. This is not lost on Peter who at first refuses to allow Jesus to wash his feet.
To me, there are two acts of submission. The first is from Jesus who takes the role of the servant, washing the feet. Jesus becomes a servant to his disciples. The second is that of the disciples in allowing their master to wash their feet. As always, Jesus is modeling who we are called to be. We are called to become the image of Christ. If Christ takes on the role of a servant, then we too must take on that role.
Like some of you, I have participated in services of foot washing. At times I have been called on to lead these services. It has always been an uncomfortable experience. It has also been an experience in humility.
The question for each of us is are we willing to submit ourselves to whatever Christ calls and leads us to? Are we willing to be uncomfortable?
Lord, as Christ washes our feet, guide us to those who need us to wash their feet. Amen.
Always, to God be the glory!