On the night Jesus was betrayed, He showed His love for his disciples and His willingness to serve them by washing their feet. This was a common act back then, typically done by the servant of the house. People’s feet got dirty in those days, as they wore open sandles and walked on dusty roads for transportation.
When Jesus washed His disciples’ feet, He meant it to be an example. But perhaps the message for us gets lost in the cultural changes from then until now. Maybe a fresh look at this event is in order.
While everyone was waiting for the next course to be served, Jesus got up from supper, changed into jeans and a t-shirt, and went out in the garage to find a bucket and a sponge. Next, He went to the front yard and began to wash His disiples’ cars and to dry them with a chamois. He came to Simon Peter’s car, just as Peter looked out the window. Peter ran outside and asked Him, “Lord, are You going to wash my car?” Jesus answered him, “What I’m doing you don’t understand now, but afterwards you will know.” “You will never wash my car – ever!” Peter said. Jesus replied, “If I don’t wash your car, you have no part with Me.” Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, not only the outside, then, but shampoo the carpets also.”
When Jesus had washed their cars and changed back to His good clothes, He returned to the dinner table and said to them, “Do you know what I have done for you? You call Me Teacher and Lord. This is well said, for I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your cars, you also ought to wash one another’s cars. For I have given you an example that you also should do just as I have done for you. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.”
Serving people is a big part of Jesus’ plan for me. I know that, so it’s time to keep my eyes open for the opportunities He no doubt puts in my path, and then to do so.
I enjoy it when you do this sort of thing. Kind of like “On Passover week, Jesus told the disciples, ‘Go over to that side of town. You’ll see a big Chevy in a carport, and next to it there’ll be this little beat-up VW. Hop in the VW, and if anyone asks…”
Thanks as always for the insights.
I like the analogy but I think it falls short (as we all do). Washing cars is not all that big a deal but washing feet in Jesus’ day sure was. First, it was left for the lowest of servants. Second, feet weren’t kept very clean. People had lots of dirt and probably often sewage they walked through. I think the closest thing I can think of would be cleaning a toilet. Imagine going over a friends house and offering to clean their toilet. Jesus would do it. Would we?