Imagine for a moment what it would be like to wash someone else’s feet. Imagine doing it in a time when people wore sandals at best, all roads were made out of dirt, and animals shared the roads with people. The washing of feet was usually something you did for yourself.
Yet on this day of Holy Week Jesus knelt at each disciple’s feet and washed their feet. And I bet He did it slowly and carefully. It was no “drip a little water and dab with the towel” kind of washing. He wanted them to see how invested He was in this activity.
It must have been awkward for th disciples. It must have seemed odd to have their leader and teacher kneel down to cleanse their feet of the dirt and crud of the day. His messages were clear: this cleansing makes them even more of a part of Him and it sets them an example of what it means to truly serve one another in love. And take note: there is no mention of Jesus skipping over Judas’ feet. Jesus mentions earlier in the passage that one among them is unclean, so He knows the betrayal in Judas. Knowing Jesus, He probably took extra care with cleaning Judas’ feet.
Jesus’ teaching here in John 13 is two-fold for us. First, we are to be willing to serve one another in whatever way we can. It may be washing feet or offering a warm meal or being on the committee or simply being there to listen. Second, we are to offer Christ’s love to any and all. He did not skip over Judas. We are not to skip over anyone either. Each and every person is child of God, worthy of His and our love. And maybe, just maybe, those we are least inclined to serve and those who need it most.
Scripture reference: John 13: 1-17and 31b-35