Encouragement for your daily walk with God
In the days of Jesus, there were no paved roads, so sandaled feet got filthy walking about. In those days, a person would remove his sandals upon entering a house, and clean his feet. If the homeowner was a person of means, his servants would don't o the washing. It was considered a distasteful but necessary task, which was given to the worker of lowest position in a household.
Can you imagine the look of surprise on the disciples’ faces when Jesus, the only begotten of the Father, placed Himself in the lowly, servant role to kneel down and wash their feet! It was necessary as they had been walking for some time. But not one disciple offered to do it.
I think Jesus had something more in mind than merely filling a need; He offered them a valuable object lesson. He explained to them, “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you” [John 13.15]. An object lesson isn’t intended to become a ritual because you can reenact it and miss the significance of the lesson.
Washing the disciples’ feet misses the point—it’s the attitude, not the act. Jesus was willing to humble Himself to serve others; that is our example to follow. In other words, we lay aside pride, position, and prestige to take on a task that needs to be done, for as long as it needs doing, and for whomever needs the assistance.
This humble act of service took place just before the Lord was led to His crucifixion. The hands that washed dirty feet would soon be pierced by nails. The message is clear: every task that God places before us is important to His kingdom.
I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. John 13.15-17