Imagine you have been invited to a meal at a table, but not just any table. You are a guest at the table where Jesus and His friends gathered for the Passover Feast. You anxiously wait for the festivities to begin when you notice Jesus stand, get a towel and water, and begin washing everyone’s feet. Traditionally, this was a job done by a servant, not the master. At the very least, it should be your job. He shouldn’t be washing your feet! But with this simple act, Jesus taught His disciples, as well as you and me, that being a disciple means getting into the foot-washing business. Christ gives us a new way to live by showing us a new way to love.
One interesting thing to note is the timing of Jesus’ act of service. Jesus knew His death was quickly approaching. He knew the pain, torture, mockery, and betrayal He would endure. Nevertheless, He used this opportunity to teach His disciples to love one another through selfless service.
John uses verse one as a catalyst for the remainder of his book. The washing of the disciples’ feet was the first of many ways Jesus would display the full extent of His love (v. 1) in his waning hours. His selfless act of serving others, in particular those who had nothing to give back in return, gives us an example to live by (v. 15). He demonstrates a new way to love: selflessly, serving those in our circle of influence. It is impossible to say what you or I would do if we had sat at that table many years ago, but today we are called to show others the kind of love that Jesus showed His friends.
>> You and I are called to show a new kind of love. Who is at your "table" that you can serve with love today? How can you show Christ's love to someone else?
Father, help us emulate your son's humility as we reach out to the people you have placed in our lives. Teach us to show others by our actions the love you have for them.