Monday, October 19, 2015

A Good Foot Rub

(by Lara Cook)
And there arose also a dispute among them as to which one of them was regarded to be greatest. And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who have authority over them are called ‘Benefactors.’  But it is not this way with you, but the one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the servant.  For who is greater, the one who reclines at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at the table? But I am among you as the one who serves.
When I was a child growing up my father would regularly rub my feet.  Even into my teen years when I was working at a fast food restaurant and would come home after hours of being on my feet he would rub my feet and it always felt so good.  It was such a kind and selfless act.  I always felt like he must love me very much to rub my stinky feet after I had been working all day. Although he was not washing my feet, remembering what he did always reminds me of Jesus washing the feet of His disciples and what it means to us.
During Bible times people wore sandals and walked dusty, dirty roads.  These conditions necessitated a lot of foot-washing.  Foot washing was reserved for the lowliest of servants.  Very rarely did friends ever wash each other’s feet.  If they did, it was done as an act of great love.  As the disciples and Jesus prepared for the Passover feast, the disciples argued over who was the greatest among them.  Jesus’ response to their discussion was, For who is greater, the one who reclines at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at the table? But I am among you as the one who serves. Luke 22:27.  Later, Jesus proceeded to wash the disciple’s feet. 
This was totally unexpected from His disciples.  Normally a master does not serve his disciples. No one at the table "expected" Jesus to wash their feet. But that’s what love does.  Love does what no one expects to be done for them.
Here was the King of Kings and Lord of Lords on bended knee performing the lowly but selfless and loving act of washing their feet.  But this example from Jesus was not just about the physical act of washing someone’s feet.  This was about much more.  This story emphasizes humility: and humility is the beginning of holiness.  He was making Himself an example and teaching them that only in humility is true greatness is found.  They were shocked and humbled and some even tried to stop Him.  But He told them, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.”  His actions were symbolic of spiritual cleansing for us as well as a model of Christ-like humility.  Apart from allowing Christ to cleanse us, we cannot have a relationship with Him.  There is no spiritual relationship without cleansing. 
He didn’t have to get down on His knees and wash the disciples’ feet.  But He did it. He did it because he loved them and he wanted to express and show His love for them.  He did it to show them how they were to love.  To fail to humble ourselves to serve men is to fail to humble ourselves to God. Jesus gave us an incredible example of selfless humility in washing the disciple’s feet.  He expects no less of us.  His example showed us that He wanted to express and show His love for the disciples.  He wants us to express and show His love for the world.

Scripture to claim:
So when He had washed their feet, and taken His garments and reclined at the table again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord; and [b]you are right, for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. John 13:12-16

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