Jesus was about to stoop low… and become a servant to His disciples… and was their feet.
Until I did missions in Guatemala, South Africa, Uganda, Rwanda, Zambia and Tanzania Africa-this verse didn’t fully make sense to me.
“When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus replied, “You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.” “No,” Peter protested, “you will never ever wash my feet!” Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me.” Simon Peter exclaimed, “Then wash my hands and head as well, Lord, not just my feet!””
John 13:6-9 NLT
The majority of all roads (other than the one main road) are not paved like we have in USA. They are deeply rutted, dirt roads… often muddy in rainy season; or very dusty and sandy in the other seasons…
Animals roam freely, no fences keeping them separated from traffic.
Children are among those who walk everywhere, often bare footed, or wearing sandals.
The roads are long, bumpy, dusty, dirty… and feet very quickly get dirty too. It’s the way of life for most cultures.
Most don’t possess shoes for their feet- and for those who have shoes, often they are open shoes, like sandals.
The primary mode of transportation was foot- walking. People of all ages walking everywhere.
There’s a variety of animal dung everywhere- sheep, goats, cows, chickens and more roam free- and many steps that occur during foot travel incur stepping in yucky stuff… at times, it’s unavoidable…so you can see now how filthy the feet easily became.
It was customary to have the lowest of servants stoop low, with a basin of warm water, and wash the feet of guests, and more so people in a higher stature.
I’ll never forget how incredibly humbling and moving it was the first time that my feet and hands were washed when a guest in a home on missions… I WENT TO SERVE THEM… and yet, through this simply, profoundly moving act, they served me.
It was life changing.
Now read this passage again.
Once Peter heard Jesus say ‘unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me’, Peters answer changed from ‘No! You will never ever wash my feet!’ to ‘then wash my hands, and my head as well, Lord, not just my feet!’
God bless the dirty roads that leads us straight to You.
Peter didn’t want Jesus on Sunday mornings only, Peter wanted Jesus on every day, and every moment of every day!
May our prayers be like Peters… in all the filth of our sins… let us cry out:
‘Wash ALL of me, Jesus!!! I want to belong to You FULLY Lord!!!’
“And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.”
John 13:14-15 NLT
Jesus gave us an example to follow, and told us to do likewise.
We must become servants. Church, let’s get busy!!!