“5 Then He poured water into the basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. 6 So He came to Simon Peter. He said to Him, ‘Lord, do You wash my feet?’ 7 Jesus answered and said to him, ‘What I do you do not realize now, but you will understand hereafter.’ 8 Peter said to Him, ‘Never shall You wash my feet!’ Jesus answered him, ‘If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.’ 9 Simon Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, then wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head.’ 10 Jesus said to him, ‘He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.’ 11 For He knew the one who was betraying Him; for this reason He said, ‘Not all of you are clean.’”
Back in Jesus’ days on earth walking was the primary means of travel. If you were lucky, you may have a donkey to ride. But the roads were still pretty much dirt roads and were well…dirty. It was customary for someone to provide you water to wash your feet or have a servant to wash them for you. This was considered the lowliest job in the home.
Remember, back then they didn’t sit around a table in chairs. They reclined on the floor with their feet to the side or in front of them. No one wanted to eat with nasty feet in their face. So, when Jesus began to wash their feet, the act itself wasn’t unusual. But the thought of their master performing the act was more than Peter could handle.
I bet your children would enjoy a foot washing. Act out the story we read today. Ask them how it feels to have your feet washed by someone else. Have each family member take turns washing feet. Ask them how it felt to wash someone’s feet. This is not a common practice today, so they may not get to experience elsewhere.
Explain to them what Jesus was teaching – humility and servanthood. Even He, the Son of God, came to serve. We should never think we are too good for service. God may give you the blessing of service at your church or at a mission. Never place yourself above the person God has asked you to serve.
When is the last time you humbled yourself in service? Ask the Lord to give you an opportunity today. When is the last time you have been the recipient of service? Don’t shun it. God wants to bless you and use someone else in the process. Let them bless you.
Lord, thank You for this example of humility and service to others. Give me opportunities to serve others and humble myself.