What would I say to Jesus if He was bending over my pasty, white feet today? Oh no, you won’t? Would I have the same reaction as Peter?
“Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” John 13:8 (ESV)
I think Peter felt a pain-filled loss of pride, as Jesus’ knelt over his dusty, dirty feet. He didn’t want the Son of God seeing his unkept nails; touching his rough, thick calluses. Peter didn’t want to feel the closeness, the humiliation of being served by the perfect King.
Yet Jesus told Peter, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.”
I picture Jesus in gentleness, helping Peter to understand: If I do not help you to come to the place of humility, you won’t share in what I have for you. In your current state, Peter, you have gone as far as you can go. Humble yourself. Let me wash you.
“In a striking demonstration of love for his enemies, Jesus washes all of his disciples’ feet, including those of Judas. Jesus’ act is all the more remarkable, as washing people’s feet was considered a task reserved for non-Jewish slaves.” – ESV Study Bible, pg. 2050
Jesus, the Son of God, performed the lowest of tasks.
And He calls to us to do the same.
“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.” – Jesus (John 13:14-16, ESV)
What is your lowest task today? Whatever it is, Jesus has already gone there and He will go there with you too. This service you think no one sees gives Him glory.
“And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’” Matthew 25:40 (ESV)
You did it for me.
This is what I want Jesus to say to me.
He did it for us. Let us do it for Him.
King Jesus, help us to humble ourselves today, so we can be like you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.