Good Friday to all. I really mean a good Friday to each of you on this Holy Good Friday. Join us tonight for our Worship service at 7:00 p.m. There will be no Prayer Service at 8:00 p.m. See message for today below:
Yesterday was Maundy Thursday on the Christian calendar, and we know it was the day that Jesus washed his disciple’s feet. The feet served a unique purpose for Jesus in scripture during Holy Week. At the last supper with his disciples, Jesus washed his disciple’s feet to demonstrate humility and servanthood. His point in doing so was to show his disciples what they should be doing in service for each other, before doing so for others. Remember during the time of Jesus, sandals were worn with no socks, therefore the feet of travelers became dirty (filthy) and needed washing when they entered someone’s home. Usually, a servant would be the one responsible for washing the feet of guest, but in this case, Jesus takes on the role of the servant.
This story is about more than just Jesus washing his disciples’ feet, for it goes far beyond that. There is also an attempt by Jesus to share with his disciples how they are to love one another, just as he has loved them. Jesus knew that the disciples’ road ahead was not going to be easy, and they would face strong opposition, but they had to press on in love. I believe Jesus’ point was that there is no force in the world that cannot be overcome by love. The actual phrase “love conquers all” is not in the Bible, but there are many verses that give support to it. For example, “No, in all things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37). “Love bears all things, believes all things” (1 Corinthians 13:7)
Imagine how dirty feet could have gotten because of the dirt and mud on the roads and the sweat caused by the heat. It was customary and a sign of hospitality to have a servant wash the feet when entering a home. I would imagine the disciples were astounded when Jesus stooped and started washing their feet, for this was the responsibility of a servant or slave. Could it be that the disciples had gotten a little cocky or they had become status seekers? They had already begun arguing about who will be the greatest. Maybe Jesus is getting them to humble themselves and get back to reality.
When I woke up this morning, Jesus washing the feet of his disciples still resonated in my mind. The question came to me, “I wonder how many couples or families last night refused to wash one another’s feet?” Think about it for a moment. You have been married to a person for twenty years, but they are reluctant to pour some water on your foot and dry it with a towel as a sign of humility and love. Now this may be time to do a reality check, especially if they refused to do so without reason. This was an opportune time to also teach our children how to humble themselves and show some love to others. This could have been a test to see if you love me enough to wash my feet. There may come a time when we will have to do more than wash or clean someone’s feet, for it may be, we have to clean some very personal and private parts of our loved one’s body. Here is a think about: If they were not willing to wash their feet, well, would they be willing to clean or bathe you totally if you became sick or incapacitated? That’s what I loved about Peter, for when he got himself together, he was willing to let Jesus wash him all over.
Washing or cleaning up one another is worthy of an open conversation. Ask your loved one today, “If I became sick and could not take care of myself, what would you do?” Don’t be surprised what their response might be. If you ask the question now, it won’t be a surprise later. You may have a problem bigger than your feet. If you are caring for someone today and you have to wash or clean them up, pat yourself on the back, for that is what God would want from us!
It always amazes me how Jesus can take the simplest of things and make a story come to life. His ingenuity is impeccable. John 13:1-17 is packed with lessons to be learned. Take a moment to think about how important our feet are to us, but more importantly to Jesus. For us, they serve as the foundation for our entire body in terms of support, balance, posture, and overall well-being. God as we know gave our bodies everything we need for survival and in this case, feet for mobility. But for Jesus, in this passage of scripture, again feet were a symbol of love, humility and strength.
Our feet are also a means of transportation for us. As a young man, I never worried too much about getting to places, just as long as my feet were working properly. Think about it for a moment, how God created this wonderful body, but he had to anchor it on a foundation strong enough to carry it. This is like the point that Jesus is trying to make with his disciples. He is attempting to establish or build a foundation strong enough for his disciples to carry the Good News to the world.
Take time to thank God for your precious feet this morning. Can you remember when a child started walking you got excited? Get excited this morning about your lovely feet and how they will help you serve someone today.
Not a sermon, just my thoughts!
Robert Earl Slade, Pastor