“So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you?” John 13:12.
When is the last time someone washed your feet? Seems a rather odd question for the majority of us I’d think. As I thought about this, I tried to remember when that might have been and honestly I can’t remember a time that it happened so best I can tell it was the last time my mum gave me a bath.
But the reality is for most of us it is not part of our culture or comfort zone to have someone wash our feet. After all we wear shoes and socks outside 99 per cent of the time so our feet really don’t get dirty anyway.
But in Jesus day everyone walked in sandals in Israel. The people walked, the horses walked, the cattle, sheep and well everything walked on these dusty paths and roads. So you can well imagine what all people stepped in. I think your imaginations can fill in the rest of this thought.
To say the least, before your Mum would let you in on her nice clean floors you would stop at the door and take off your sandals and scrub your feet. Well, I know my Mum would have insisted on it. She didn’t even let me in her house with my shoes on the last time I went for a visit. Shoes came off, then I got a hug and cuddle and a ‘lovely to see you...’ welcome. What I thought were clean shoes were not allowed on her nice clean floors.
So I can only imagine what she’d of done had I been walking about Jerusalem in sandals back in the day. It would have been me with soap and a big bucket of water and a brush I’d imagine.
So here was Jesus in the upper room with his disciples, apparently the dusty roads hadn’t bothered them much but it was dinner time and Jesus knew they needed to clean the, shall we say ‘stuff’, off their feet before they reclined next to the table full of food. So He, though He was the Messiah, filled a water bowl and took a towel and like a servant washed their feet.
They had no clue what or why apart from that really a servant was supposed to do this lowly job, yet Jesus did it for them. But he asked them to think or meditate on this event.
I read in Psalm 19:14: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.”
As we meditate, often it leads to an act of prayer.
This Friday (March 6) is World Day of Prayer and there is a hope that many will come and join us at 7 p.m. at the Edzell Church as we meditate and pray together with this story of Jesus washing His disciples’ feet as the theme.
I hope you will come and learn more, pray more and see how this story can teach you, bless you and encourage you to discover if you can know what it was that Jesus really did for His disciples that night so long ago.
You are welcome to come join us,
Rev. Jon Bergen
On behalf of the World Day of Prayer Team