January 13: Washing Feet

Today’s challenge comes from John 13:1-17 and I actually recommend you read it first before reading the rest of this so, here ya go:

Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him,Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then hepoured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.”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.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” 10 Jesus said to him,“The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet,[a] but is completely clean. And you[b] are clean, but not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

12 When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant[c] is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

One of the most hygienic modern inventions is the closed toe shoe. According to my friends at Sole Hope, one of the biggest obstacles to health in sub-Saharan climates is a parasite called a jigger. Jiggers burrow into the surface of the skin and cause severe inflammation, ulceration, and fibrosis.

In Jesus’ time, they didn’t have closed toed shoes to protect them from such insects. The cultural convention when visiting someone’s house was having the lowest of all servants wash guests’ feet. This is why Peter objected to Jesus washing his feet during the last week He was with them.

However in this, Jesus modeled sacrificial love for us, a love that will go to the dirty places in our lives and make them clean. So our challenge is to wash someone’s feet. If you’re married, do it for your spouse. If you’re single, do it for a parent, pastor, or close friend.

A good song for today: “How He Loves” by David Crowder Band (feat. Matt Chandler & John Piper)

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