Jesus took a towel … and began to wash the disciples’ feet. … He said to Peter, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with me … I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you.” John 13: 4–15
Jesus presents himself as both Teacher and Lord, full of wisdom and the power necessary to provide all that his followers need. He is intimate with the Father, which means that he has all of God’s resources under his control and immediate access to those resources. And Jesus knows his students; he knows that even though he has cleansed our hearts from their former desires and loyalties, we need to be kept clean. So, he becomes at once a model and a teacher of humility and service. By requiring Peter to receive and to emulate the attitude and posture of the foot washer, Jesus inspires us to do the same. When we allow another disciple to serve us out of the resources and wisdom Jesus supplies, we humbly confirm our own need for his grace in our lives. When this occurs, our hearts are washed of the desires and loyalties that tend to accumulate from our daily interaction with others. When we humbly serve other disciples as Jesus did, we experience a renewed connection with him and a confidence that we will always have more than enough grace for ourselves and for others.
Father, open my eyes so I may see the feet that need washing all around me. Open my heart so I will give the “water and soap” that will help my friends live. Amen.