John 13:12-17 (NIV)
12 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. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
When I became a Patient Care Technician, there was an assignment to complete during my training. Students were required to work for one week at a Nursing Home. We were to complete the tasks we had been taught to care for the patients. One of them was to wash their feet, and apply lotion if they were not showing any sores on their feet.
There was a man in a wheel chair who I had been assigned to. The list of care included his feet. We considered this not only for cleanliness but comfort as well. Preparations included clean towels and several toiletries placed on a tray. Once used, the clean cloth had to be placed in a dirty bag. A new clean one was used for each swipe. This tedious procedure had to be done on my knees.
I finished his first foot with lotion after a five-minute careful rub down. His wife came to see him, just as I started his next foot. She asked how he was doing. I replied that I was completing my training, and he was doing well. Her husband was my total attendance that day for personal care. She smiled asking, “Do you realize what he is doing?” I quizzically looked at her trying to guess what she meant. She asked, “Don’t you see his smile? You don’t know what that means! He has not smiled since he had his stroke! You have shown us how much this care means to him. He cannot speak, but now we know he can smile.”
Think about an experience when Jesus would wash your feet. What perception would flow in you? What did the disciples feel? What would their thoughts be about Jesus? What does Jesus want everyone to understand? In those days, the washing of the guest’s feet was a job of a servant to do upon their arrival. Jesus wrapped his towel around His waist, just as the lowliest household servant would do. Even He who was God in the flesh, became a servant to the world. Honestly, do you suppose we can be like Jesus? Jesus washed their feet showing them and us His example to be servants, help one another, and be blessed for it.
That is the lesson for us. He demonstrated to the disciples and us that our mission to serve God is by serving each other. Imagine presenting the gospel to someone in this fashion. If you washed their feet while sharing the Gospel, can you envision this? Would you see a smile on their face? Would they see Jesus in you?
There is a time we are taught about the washing of feet.
Luke 7:38 New International Version (NIV)
38 As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
Luke 7:44 New International Version (NIV)
44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.
So, here is a sinful woman, a prostitute who enters the dinner uninvited. She proceeds to wash Jesus’ feet. This means that Simon did not offer this normal custom to Jesus. In fact Simon did not kiss Jesus as was normal, nor did he anoint Jesus’ head with oil, these were all expected for a guest. Simon indeed had been remiss. Did Simon feel like he was too good to do this for Jesus? Was it a snide way from his heart? I think it is mentioned because it shows such a vast difference in those who show their faith from the heart and those who do not.
Jesus said to the woman, “ your sins are forgiven. Your faith has saved you, go in peace.” He was issuing God’s grace not because of the good deed, but because of her faith in Him. This is the same Grace He gives us.
The Titanic had a Servant from God aboard.
This man’s bow reached the strings of everyone’s life. This was the strand when they could reach out for Jesus. Wallace Henry Hartley had listened to the example of Jesus. His Faith in Jesus gave Him the obedience to become a servant to others. A man, few knew, played a hymn in the last moments of their lives. He gave them one last song on earth. Their next sound would be God’s angels singing. God had prepared their new song in Heaven.
I picture this in my mind. I see the divine correlation of love itself at the last of someone’s life. Jesus showed this on the cross. Forgive them Jesus said! Thou shalt be with me today in Paradise, He said. Yes, I believe this is Divinely God speaking and an example of where we want to be in Jesus.