I was recently considering how we share our story as Christians with those around us. When I read John 13:1-17 and think about the message Jesus was sending to the disciples through the experience of foot washing, I have some clarity for one way we can share our story. While foot washing is unusual today, it was customary in the days of Jesus, a common way of greeting your guests. However, it was not something that the "master" of the house performed. Foot washing was a service usually reserved for the lowest household servant. Jesus washed feet to show his love.
The message Jesus is sending here is clear. The way to be happy in this world is not to "Lord" over the world, but to serve the world. Think about what Jesus said: Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. -John 13:16-17
Jesus was teaching us about the importance of humility. Think about it. The King of Kings and Lord of Lords washing the feet of those who knew him for the Lord He was. Humility was one of the Lord's greatest qualities and one that we should want others to see in our lives. Finally, Jesus taught us about the importance of sacrifice. The Bible says that when Jesus washed His Disciples' feet, he laid aside His garments. (John 13:4). He said, What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this. (John 13:7)
I don't know just when John came to understand the importance of what Jesus was trying to teach us, but there's no doubt that at some point in time, he realized what Jesus meant, and it really had nothing to do with foot washing at all. It was all about serving others, which as Christians we are not just called to do, but told that it will lead to true happiness.
As you journey through this week, pause for a moment to consider the message Jesus brings to us through the experience of foot washing. How will you go and serve today?