Read John 13:1-17.
He loved those twelve men. They ate, slept, walked, and even fished together. Three years in an intense mentoring relationship. He couldn’t help but love them; he had chosen them, after all. It didn’t mean, however, that they were easy to love.
How many times had he shown his exasperation with their slowness of mind and heart? “Do you still not believe?” he said. “Are you still so slow to understand? How much longer do I have to be with you? Do I have to put up with you?” Yes, even Jesus had his moments with these guys, and yet, he still loved them.
Now he was going to show them the full extent of his love.
He, the Master, Rabbi, Teacher and Lord, was going to wash their feet like a servant.
Peter put up a fight, but Jesus put him in his place. “Unless I wash you, you have no part of me.”
After finishing washing each man’s feet, he asked them, “Do you understand what I have done for you?”
What had he done? Had he not already shown them how much he cared? How far he was willing to go to make sure they grasped his teaching and his purpose? No, there was one step further…their feet.
He did it all, from the most menial task to the greatest, to show them what they must do on his behalf for others. If they were going to represent Christ in this world, they had to be willing to stoop to the most degrading task in order to reach those who needed a Savior. He did it first to show them that they could do it too.
Yet, this would be nothing compared to what was to come — his life. Even this would be required of them as well.
Lord, why is your way so hard? Why is service so painful? No one shows appreciation to the servant who washes the feet of the guests, and I realize that perhaps no one will show me appreciation for my service. I’m so tired of serving — doing menial tasks that others should really be doing, not me. Why Lord?
Oh, for you, Lord?
I know. You did it, and thus, I must too. Forgive me for putting pride and self above service and love. Love, that’s what it said: You showed them the full extent of your love.
Help me, Lord, to serve out of love, your love, for I am not greater than you by a long shot.
What about you? Dealt with any stinky feet lately for his glory?