So if I, your Lord and teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. - John 13:14-15
The other day I reflected on the “earthiness” of Jesus through his miracle at the wedding in Cana. That was at the beginning of Jesus’ story in John, and here towards the end, we have another: Jesus washing the disciples’ feet.
This was an amazing act for a number of reasons, not the least of which was how this act indicated how deep his love is for us. This is God Incarnate, after all. This is Emmanuel. And that powerful presence, the One which has existed beyond Time and created the Cosmos, stoops down on his knees and washes the dirt and grime from our smelly, dirty feet.
Let that sink in for a minute.
This, Jesus says, is an example not only of how he feels about us, but how we should thusly feel and be for one another. If God Almighty can be so humble and loving as to wash our feet, can’t we in like turn lovingly reach out in affirmation and support of one another?
Jesus often speaks of humility, warning about exalting ourselves and placing ourselves on pedestals on which we have no business standing. He reminds us that those who do so will be humbled, and the humble shall be lifted up. He not only says this, but he also lives it as an example for the rest of us. None of us is above getting on our knees in humility and compassionately reaching out to our neighbor.
Think of that powerful example the next time you’re washing your feet.
All-Powerful God, thank you for loving us so deeply that you would even get on our knees before us and wash away the dirt from our journey. May we find the courage to do and be likewise.