Have you ever washed anybody’s feet? Have you ever had a pedicure and felt kind of sorry for the people washing yours? I am excited that as a part of our ministry here in South Africa, there’s a lot of footwashing in my future.
Every time I read the story of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet in John 13, I find it so striking. I suppose you might think it just takes lots of humility to be humble. But I think it also takes some confidence to be humble in the right way. Verses 13 & 14 explain that “Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself.” And there takes place an event so strikingly beautiful, and so strikingly other-worldly to me: Jesus washes the Disciples’ feet.
A while ago I wrote a post about how contrary the ways of the kingdom of God are to the ways of the world. It is beautiful and intriguing to me, as I understand more and more about how the call to follow Jesus is so contrary to the call to live life the way the world might tell you to. Here we have such an incredible, tangible example of the mindboggling paradigm of our Saviour and King. He’s about to die for the sins of the world. He’s about to be denied by those dear to Him, abandoned in His darkest hour, even betrayed by one of those among them…and what does He do? He washes their feet.
And He explains: “You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.” And a little later He points out that this servant attitude, this love we demonstrate, when we love each other (which is obviously intertwined with serving each other) this is the love by which “all will know that you are My disciples.”
Does He tell us to chase after a bigger peace of the pie? No. Does He tell us to make sure we have enough for ourselves before we even consider sharing with anyone else? No. He says love each other. Serve each other. Trust Me to take care of you.
This holiday season, I want to aim to find myself in God. Can I encourage you to do the same? Find out who you are in God. Remember how much He loves you. Remember that’s why He came. And let that knowledge give you the confidence to be a servant. To be an agent for the love of God to flow into the lives of those who need it. I am confident that you will find it more blessed to give than to receive…and I’d encourage you to give not just out of your pocket, but out of your heart and your time. And not just to those who will give back to you, but to those who might be Peters and Judases in your life. That kind of love is the light that shines brighter than any other, and points to God. Tis the Season.