Maybe grace isn’t the first thing you think of when you hear or see a towel being wrung out, but for Jesus and his disciples, this was an important sign of servanthood.
In John 13, Jesus gathered with his disciples just before Passover, and He knew his time with them was growing short. He wanted to teach them something important, and He did it in a way that made a lasting impact.
Jesus wrapped a towel around himself, filled a basin with water and washed their feet.
To us, this may sound like simply a nice (or maybe even an odd) gesture, but in Jesus’ time, washing someone’s feet was the work of a servant. By this time, the disciples knew that Jesus was Lord, so for him to do the work of a lowly servant was shocking to them.
But He washed all their feet so that He could serve them. Keep in mind that Jesus is the King of Kings, the Messiah, fully God yet fully man, the creator of the universe… and He chose in that moment to humble Himself so He could serve His followers.
And Jesus’ desire to serve us didn’t end with washing the disciples’ feet. His whole life, His death, and His resurrection testifies His desire to serve us with grace and love.
We can be thankful that Jesus has served us so abundantly, but we also need to remember what Jesus said to the disciples after He washed their feet: “Do you understand what I was doing? You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right because that’s what I am. And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet” (John 13:12-14).
Now, this doesn’t mean that you should go out and literally wash people’s feet! It means that following Jesus means serving others.
How can you serve others this week?