Have you ever wished Jesus hadn’t used washing the disciples’ feet as an example of the servant ministry? I have, especially on Maundy Thursday. Some feet are beautiful, like the feet Isaiah describes as belonging to “him who brings good tidings” (Isaiah 52:7). Most feet are not, especially at the end of the day. Adjectives that come to mind to describe them might include: sore, sweaty, tired and unattractive. Is it any wonder that Peter didn’t want his Lord and Saviour washing his feet?
When Jesus washed their feet and asked his disciples to wash one another’s feet, he was not just concerned about personal hygiene. Besides challenging the class system of his day, Jesus could have been questioning the validity of the purity laws. It’s not only our bodies that need cleansing. We need to “come clean” about our thoughts and behaviour, too.
Jesus has charged us with the responsibility of being mutual ministers to each other. In addition to caring for each other physically, there’s a lot of listening, correcting, forgiving, encouraging and loving to be done. Now that’s a challenging job description!
Dear Lord, grant us the humility to serve others and let others serve us, so that together we can serve you. — CKA