March 30, 2022
The Year of our Lord, Jesus Christ
If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet.
Washing the feet of another. Think about it. The stuff between the toes, the dirt from wearing sandals all day in a dusty area, perhaps calluses from the rocks that would scrape the feet as the person walked, and maybe blood from cuts from lack of closed toed shoes. If the physical part of washing another’s feet was not enough, there was the emotional aspect. To stoop down before another, kneel before them, wash their feet, dry them off, how humbling that must be. Who would choose to do such?
Christ’s disciples! At least that is the lesson the Lord was trying to teach them. He washed their feet, and He expected them to wash each other’s feet. He was using a physical act to teach a spiritual truth. His people are to serve others. He did on earth, and He expects us to do the same.
In a type, every preacher that preaches is to wash the feet of those who hear the message. Meaning they serve the hearers by proclaiming God’s Word unto them. They clean the feet, meaning their walk, their manner of life. They deal with the sores, the calluses, the wounds, the dirt. Same with teachers, soul-winners, parents, anyone who claims the name of Christ who serves others.
It is one thing to wash another’s feet once, for a day, perhaps a week, maybe for a month or year. But for a lifetime? Wow! But that is exactly that which the Lord desires of His people, that we may spend a lifetime of service to others, just washing their feet. Foot washers may receive a quick thank you. But it is the big-time religious figures that receive the accolades. The CEO receives the bonuses, not the lowest of servants, the foot washers. The elected officials to the high offices receive the perks of position, not the foot washers. Popular individuals of great influence in culture are admired and highly esteemed, but not the foot washer. Sports figures at the professional level probably make more in one day than a foot washer could make in a year.
Interestingly enough though, the top religious figures can, and should, also be foot washers. So too can CEO’s, elected officials, cultural icons, and sport figures, but it takes humility, obedience, and self-effacement, all on a continual, consistent, and constant basis.
Jesus may have only washed the disciples’ feet once physically but have no doubt, every day, in every lesson, every action, every message, every healing, every prayer, every moment He washed their feet. Paul says it like this in Philippians 2:8: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Yes, the Lord humbled Himself as a servant, all the way to the cross, which in this writer’s estimation is the greatest act of foot washing ever performed.
So, foot washers…carry on! Never stop. Keep your spirit of service, for therein you are the highest representation of your Christ on earth.
Until next time,
William T. Howe, Ph.D.