Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean. John 13:3-11
Jesus knew. He knew that God has put all things under his power. He knew that he had come from God, and will be returning to him. So what does he do? He washes his disciples feet.
I can’t help but think about this. In that day and age, it was very common to travel on foot from place to place. And what was typically worn? Sandals. Traveling on foot everywhere, wearing sandals… No wonder feet got so dirty. And it was the household servant’s job to wash the feet of the household guests.
Yet Jesus showed his servant attitude to his disciples. He was the perfect model servant… He served so willingly.
But you know what came to mind when I read this passage? It wasn’t the exemplary attitude in washing His disciples feet. Though that did cross my mind, obviously. It was this question that popped into my head:
Where have I walked?
Jesus knew what he came to do. What was that? Die on the cross for our sins, rising once again and breaking the chains of sin that bind us. Reuniting us with God, and essentially, washing us white as snow in doing so.
I was walking down the path of sin. So were you. Until Jesus was like, “Hey, look at your feet! They are filthy. Let me wash them for you?”
Think about your past. Think of the route you were walking down. Do you remember that time when Jesus told you, “unless I wash you, you have no part with me?” You had to stop traveling in that direction of a sinful life and let Him wash you. And by doing so, you stopped walking in that direction! You turned to Jesus and went to him. You changed paths.
Does that mean we will never veer off the track of righteousness at times? No. Remember, Jesus washed his disciples feet before he was betrayed by one disciple, disowned three times by another, and deserted by all of them for a time.
But still, Jesus loved them to the end. And he washed their feet. He knows the sins you and I have committed. As well as the ones we are going to commit. Yet, he still loves us and washed us. Cleansed us.
No, to me, Jesus washing his disciples feet have two meanings. One, he washes away our sins by his death on the cross. And how should we respond to that kind of love? Two, submit to Christ, learn the lesson of servanthood. Jesus, in washing his disciples feet, was an exemplary model to how we should treat others.