Saturday, 11 October 2014


John 13:4,5 “He [Jesus] got up from the meal, took off His outer clothing , and wrapped a towel around His waist. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash His disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped round Him.

v. 12-14 When He had finished washing their feet, He put on His clothes and returned to His place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” He asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord’, and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”

Many times in our Christian walk, our attention is drawn to some aspect of the things of God by His reinforcing it a couple of times within a short time frame. This week I had a number of occasions to ponder on the Biblical principle of washing the feet of others.
A few days ago I was listening to an online sermon by Pastor Robert Morris of Gateway Church Texas, USA. In it he discussed the deep unresolved hurts that some people carry. Pastor Robert reminded his listeners that He who tied a towel around His waist and knelt at the feet of His disciples, attending to their most basic needs, can and does minister to pain and heal it.
Jesus, the Son of God became a man, and in obedience to His Father, to glorify God, became a servant. The act of foot-washing was a precursor to what would shortly follow- the Son of Man was again stripped, that we might be saved and cleansed, not by mere earthly water this time, but by His blood, shed on the cross.
Jesus reminded His followers that He had set an example for us. We are to wash each others feet. Yesterday I attended a wedding where the newly married couple, as one of their first demonstrable acts of love for each other, washed each others feet. It was beautifully symbolic of their desire to follow Christ’s leading and as a couple, serve one another.
In my employment in community health I literally wash feet. There are many people who are alone and isolated to whom touch, in a non-threatening manner, such as on an arm or shoulder or foot, can be a source of comfort. Many of us who use touch to express love – hugs, kisses, handshakes – don’t often realise what a loss it is to those who are isolated when they don’t have tactile contact with others.
We need not necessarily literally wash feet. In “Christianese” we often speak about “washing the feet of others” in the way that Jesus meant- we are to serve others as He did – willingly, freely and lovingly.
 Jesus, to His disciples, was shocking in His humility –  by washing the dusty feet of travelers, He performed the work that a lowly servant would normally have done. Whenever I see someone who in worldly terms is important, doing a task that in worldly terms is considered menial, I am reminded of the grace of Jesus. None of us should be too proud to clean toilets or wash dishes or put out the rubbish. Sometimes foot-washing might not be a physical act but rather encouragement through listening or sending a note, or ministering to the emotional pain of others to bring hope and healing.
There are so many ways that we can minister to the physical, spiritual and emotional needs of others, and God has provided each of us with unique gifts and resources to do so. May He bless you richly as you bless others.
To God be the glory and increase.

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