If our heads ever become so lofty that there are certain places that are too far to bend, we would do well to remind ourselves of the King of Heaven. Fix our eyes on Him, follow His example, and we will see God on His hands and knees.
John 13:4-5 “So He (Jesus) got up from the table, took off His robe, wrapped a towel around His waist, and poured water into a basin. Then He began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel He had around them.”
It was right before the Passover celebration. Jesus, knowing that the hour of His death was upon Him, wanted to show His disciples the length to which His love would go. Not only had He left the ivory palaces of heaven to be born in a dirty stable in Bethlehem; not only had He lived His life on earth as One without a permanent home; but He was willing to take on the form of a servant, humbling Himself in the most demeaning of household duties.
Jesus and His disciples had entered an upper room where they were going to eat the Passover meal. It was the generally accepted custom of that time that on entering an establishment a servant would wash the guest’s feet before they began to dine. Since there were no servants at this banquet no one was willing to do this humble service.
So the God of the universe took off His robe, wrapped Himself in a towel, and got down on His hands and knees to wash the feet of those He loved. There were no limits to which His love would not go. And in the next few days His love would take Him to a cruel death which would result in life for all who would believe in Him.
Peter, horrified that His Savior would lower Himself to this degrading task, balked at the idea of having His feet washed by the Christ. But Jesus was using this example to show His disciples the spiritual implications of what He was about to do. He had come for the purpose of cleansing the world from sin. The disciples who already believed only needed their feet washed. Yet His love even reached out to others, like Judas who would soon betray Jesus to His enemies.
Jesus’ act was also a call to His followers to live their own lives in love and humble service to others. The attitude of humility and the willingness to serve – whatever the cost – shows that we belong to the One who gave His life for us. By following His example others may begin to understand the full extent of His love for them.
So how far would your love for others go? Is your mind full of future grandiose plans for serving God? Or are you willing now to fold the laundry, clear the dinner dishes, or carry your next door neighbor’s trash cans in?