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Updated: Aug 12, 2023

If you were to know someone was going to wrong you, would you still treat them with love?

Would you wash their feet?

This is the picture Christ displayed for us to model. He set the very example of loving your enemy; of loving those who have hurt you; of forgiving those who have trespassed against you.

"During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray Him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside His outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around His waist." John 13:2-4

Let's take a look at what is going on here.

Jesus removed His outer garments.

For a teacher to wash the feet of His disciples was unheard of in these times. In fact, they were to have washed HIS feet.

But Jesus shows us a picture of removing His own identity and authority to set the example He wishes for His disciples to follow.

The truth of His ministry, of His own redemptive mercy. He is showing them by this means what He had come into the world to do.

" taking the form of a servant...He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross." Philippians 2:7-8

By girding Himself in a towel, He took the form of a servant, of a slave.

He removed all pretense and hypocrisy and chose to be clothed in humility.

"Then He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around Him." John 13:5

Jesus washed the disciples' feet.

He didn't have their feet washed by someone else. He washed them HIMSELF. He knelt down, grabbed their dirt covered feet, dipped them in the water, used His hands to wash the grime away, and dried them with the towel He clothed Himself with.

He had to be close in their proximity in order to wash and dry their feet. He didn't dip their feet in the water and call it a day. He immersed their feet and washed, scrubbed and cleansed the dirt away.

He willingly knelt down. Knowing Peter would deny Him. Knowing Thomas would doubt Him.

Knowing Judas would betray Him.

"When He had washed their feet and put on His outer garments and resumed His place, He said to them, " Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them." John 13:12-17

"When He had washed their feet..." It doesn't say "after He washed some of their feet." or "after He chose who was best," or "when He washed one of the disciples' feet."

It says after He washed THEIR feet.

For Christ to bend down low, in the form of a servant, before those who had doubted, denied, and betrayed Him, and to call us to "do just as [He had] done to [them]", is not something we should take lightly.

"If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet."

This isn't an "if you feel like doing it" or a "if they are nice people and deserve you washing their feet" saying.

This is a command.

Just as Jesus bent low before these men, so we are to do. To those who have betrayed us. To those who have spit in our faces. To those who don't deserve it.

Just as Jesus removed His outer garments, so we are to remove our pride and haughtiness.

Just as Jesus lovingly washed every dirty, undeserving foot in that room, so we are to wash the feet of those around us.


"...blessed are you if you do them."

I think, as we bend low before others, it's as a form of worship to our Lord. It's a sacrifice we must make so that Christ's love emanates through our lives. To embody the very picture of Christ as a servant. To show His mercy and great sacrifice to us - the one's who spit in His face, who betray Him every day with our waywardness.

So it's time, my friend. It's time to remove the cloak of pride and haughtiness. It's time to let Christ shine in every conversation, action, thought or deed.

It's time to bend low.

~ Kissy Black

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