March 10th 2016

Todays verses: John 13:1-17

 

The Washing of feet

Jesus spent his last hours on earth with those who were closest to him, his friends, and his disciples. John tells us that Jesus knew that his ministry on earth approached the big crescendo, atoning for our sins. When someone knows they are about to die, it is normal to ascribe great importance to their last words and actions. Jesus prefaces his last teaching, by breaking the social codex and shocking his disciples. He assumes the servants role and wash the feet of the disciples.

The Washing of feet was an important part of Jewish daily life. Jews considered not offering water for guests to wash their feet as an act of deliberate hostility. In the Bible, washing feet is always an expression of being a servant.  Washing was also ritually important according to the Law of Moses. In Ex. 30:17-21 Aaron and the priests receive instructions to wash their hands and feet that they may live when entering into presence of God. By washing the disciples’ feet Jesus prepares them to go near the altar – the cross, to witness Jesus atone for our sins on the cross.

Through assuming a servants role, Jesus shows us our calling:  To facilitate for other people’s encounter with God’s grace, through serving in humility. When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, humbly took a servant’s role it is not beneath our dignity to «wash the feet of others.» When we are «washing feet», we show Jesus’s merciful welcome, acceptance and love to our neighbour. By doing this, we will be blessed in return. Our calling might not literally be to wash some ones feet, but let us ask God to touch our hearts, attitudes and perceptions, so we really see people around us and that we might meet them the way Jesus have met us.

 

Ronnie Fagervoll