October 15th 2014
Are you busy serving others by washing their feet?
Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. (John 13:8-10 KJV)
Peter clearly did not understand the spiritual intent of washing feet. Likely many others the disciples did not understand this teaching. Many still miss Jesus’s intent and symbolism of foot washing. Jesus used it to illustrate humbleness and willingness to serve another. Jesus served by example in washing others feet; never expecting followers to do something He was not willing to do Himself. We, likewise, need to serve others as led by God.
In biblical times physical foot washing was a customary practice for any who traveled about on the dusty dirty pathways commonly attired in simple open sandals in this desert atmosphere their feet becoming dirty from their long journeys. Foot washing was usual for royalty, strangers, guests, and friends and family alike when arriving to a house or other buildings and especially coming inside the temple. This foot washing was often done by servants.
In biblical times foot washing was done because of the appearance of the outer foot covered in desert dust and grime and in light of the holiness of God’s temple men were considered ceremonially unclean with such grime gathered upon them. Further it was thought to be an insult to God allowing any person with dirty feet to come together without outward washing thus fulfilling a Levite custom having no bearing upon the condition of the heart of man but making their outer appearance presentable before others and before God in the temple.
Many today profess by mouth a clean inner heart condition towards the things of God according to their outward actions and strict belief of works and following the law as being clean or in okay position with God.
Many have clean feet and yet are harboring a film of dirt upon their heart inwardly. “Foot washing” of others, wherever they may be in life, requires humbleness before God and men. It is often in this unpretentiousness that others can clearly see God working; shining through a Christ-like example bringing them into a closer spiritual relationship with God and His family.