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Washing Others' Feet

"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. 'You call me "Teacher" and "Lord,'" and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet.'" -John 13:12-14

Feet washing. Hmm. Could you imagine washing people's feet every time they came to your house? Even though the thought of it today can bring looks of disgust to our faces, imagine what it must have been like in Jesus' day. People did not get pedicures, and they wore sandals - all day, every day. If feet stink after wearing shoes, imagine what the feet back then must've smelled like after walking 15 miles in the sand and dust! And yet, in spite of this, Jesus washed His disciples' feet. I can't imagine Jesus enjoying this task of feet washing, but He did it anyway as a prophetic act of service, humility, and love. And, He desired that they do the same for each other.

To us in the here and now, washing others' feet might mean something different. It might mean dealing with the stinky things in life and cleaning them up. In your workplace, it might mean you are the one to initiate washing the dishes or taking out the trash, or dealing with difficult situations that require lots of grace. In our communities, it might mean helping someone change a tire, or visiting a homeless shelter. For our relationships, it might mean listening to someone's problems with grace and mercy, even though we may not agree. It might mean watching someone else's children or changing their diapers. Often these acts of service involve inconvenience.

Jesus was an amazing example of humility toward those He was called to serve. His washing His disciple's feet was an act of true servant leadership. He invites us to do the same.

Is there someone's feet you need to wash?


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