It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God, so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin, and began to wash his disciples feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” “No”, said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” Then, Lord, Simon Peter replied, not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” Jesus answered, Those who have a bath need only to wash their feet, their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you. For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean. 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. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. John 13:1-17 (NIV)
In Biblical times, the dusty and dirty conditions of the region necessitated the need for foot washing. Although the disciples most likely would have been happy to wash Jesus’ feet, they could not conceive of washing each other’s feet. This was because in the society of the time, foot washing was reserved for the lowliest of servants. Peers did not wash one another’s feet, except very rarely and as mark of great love. Therefore, when Jesus moved to wash the disciples feet, they were shocked. Through his action, Jesus taught the lesson of selfless service that was exemplified by his death on the cross.
Grace and Peace to You My Friends