“For I have set you and example that you should also do as I have done to you.” John 13:15

The Washing of the Feet

In ancient Palestine people walked the dusty roads in open sandals, so when they reached their destination a host would offer a basin of water for them in which to wash their own feet. In wealthy households a slave or servant would perform this most intimate of tasks. At home it was something that children might do for their father, or a wife for her husband. It was looked upon as the lowliest of services. This is what the disciples should have been doing for their master and for each other when they were gathered together in the upper room, but they were too busy arguing about who was the greatest among them, and who would have the honored places at the table. Their pride prevented them from performing this service for one another, so they were stunned into silence when Jesus knelt down and began to wash their feet. It was a lesson in humility. It squelched their pride and cleansed their hearts of selfish ambition. And it is a reminder for all of us to love and serve one another with compassion and good will as Jesus has taught us to do.

Lord, give us each the heart of a servant.

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