Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus answered, “You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I 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!” Jesus said to him, “One who has bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet, but is entirely clean. And you are clean, though not all of you.” For he knew who was to betray him; for this reason he said, “Not all of you are clean.” After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. (John 13:3-15, NRSV)
Last week I went to the dentist. Now I really don’t like going to the dentist, but this was a very enjoyable experience.
After having my teeth picked and poked and scrapped and all cleaned, I get to meet the dentist. Oh yes I forgot to say this was the first time I had been to this office. The dentist comes in and tells me he is looking over my paper work, and then he reaches his hand out and says, “My name is Greg, I like to be on a first name basis, because we all put our pants on the same way.” Refreshing I thought. He asked if I was ok being called Jerry, or did I want to be called Rev, or pastor… I told him Jerry was fine and he could call me whatever he wanted as long as he didn’t call me late for diner!
He then told me a story of a class mate of his from school, and they were a few days from graduation and his class mate said he couldn’t wait to graduate. Greg agreed because they had been in school for quite a while and he was ready to be out serving people. So he asked his classmate, “Why are you excited for graduation?” His class mate responded, “Because then everyone will have to call me Doctor the rest of my life.”
Jesus got on his knees and washed the nasty dirty feet of the disciples, and took all of our nastiness with him to the cross, and He did this to give us an example. We shouldn’t lord our lives over others. We are here to serve.
We all put our pants on the same way, one leg at a time, and Jesus loves us all the same. So serve all, just as Jesus did. Jesus washed Judas’ feet. We need to follow His example!