Love Like Jesus…“Washes Feet”


When I meditate on the story of Jesus washing the feet of the disciples in John 13, I sit in awe and wonder. Awe at the humiliation of Jesus washing filthy feet. Wonder because I don’t get it. Then I read the punch line: “Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” Jesus commanded us to wash one another’s feet.

According to Jesus’ words, we miss everything about following him if we fail with the basin and the towel. Jesus calls us to practice the art of doing things considered “below us” for others. We must put away selfishness, get on our knees before one another and serve them. Along the way, we discover that following Jesus means doing things traditionally unbecoming or even scandalous.

Jesus set the bar high. He saw (maybe smelled) a need for cleansing among the twelve, who sat too blind and selfish to address it. So he served and did not wait for someone else to do it. Then He said, “No servant is greater than his master” (John 13:16).

According to Jesus’ words, we do not wash others’ feet because we have not let Jesus wash ours first. We act strong like Peter and tell him not to touch us. But the truth is that we just don’t want Jesus or anyone else to see our dirt. We are used to carting it around. We accept it. We might even like it. And we don’t want to let Jesus serve us this way because if we submit to this kind of service by the creator of the universe then we have to acknowledge that we are servants also.

The only way we can serve is to allow the greatest of all serve us. This puts us in our place. It gives us the ability to see that we are no better or worse than anyone else. And then we see that we don’t serve by will-power and strength. We serve out of brokenness. 

Jesus speaks to us today: “Let me wash you. Let me serve you. Parts of your life weigh you down and bind you. You can’t see others’ needs until you let me love you and touch the tender parts of your heart. Let me wash away hurts, offenses, anger, hidden loneliness that you pick up as you walk through this dirty world.”

Jesus has washed my feet many times. Still, selfishness comes over me like a slow, quiet cold front. I don’t realize my spiritual barometer is dropping until I wake up one morning with a cold, hard attitude. I recognize then that my feet are dirty again, that I need Jesus: to talk with Him about my day, my pain, my joys. I must tune my ear to His words of love and acceptance. I must submit and allow the lover of my soul to wash me again.

On the grace journey together with you, Pastor Lynwood