Tuesday, March 11, 2014

What does it mean to wash another's feet?

Over the years I have done many things for Lent.   I have given up a wide variety of things over the years, such as food, soda, candy, alcohol, etc.  I have taken on many things like working out and running.  My goal was always to better myself.  I could be a better person by being a healthier person.

Well, this year I decided to do something different.  I decided to not just focus on bettering myself  physically but spiritual.

Wow…what a brand new concept for Lent, right!?

So this year I decided to follow a Lenten daily devotional called With Jesus in the Upper Room by David Winter.

Yesterday was covered one of my favorite and, to me, one of the most powerful stories in the Bible.

It is John 13.  When Jesus washes the feet of the disciples.

You may hear a lot of times how grand of a gesture this was but do you fully understand what that means?

So the other day I went to the Lenten preaching series at Calvary Episcopal Church in downtown Memphis.  Marcus Borg, an American new Testament scholar, theologian and author, spoke last week breaking down part of the scripture from Matthew.  He said that when reading and comprehending scripture, there are three words that you must always remember.  “Context, Context, Context!”

So the other day when I came across this scripture in my devotional, it really broke it down into the context.

Who do you think washed their feet at that time?

Servants?  Well yes…but not just any servant.

What kind of servant was expected to do such a menial task?  Normally a child or a woman servant, for this task was seen as too demeaning for a male slave.

So, as the disciples enter the room to celebrate Passover, the custom is to have their feet washed.  So as this group of disciples walks in, the same group that has just finished arguing over who was the greatest disciple and who would sit at the right hand of Jesus in the Kingdom of Heaven, they look around to see where the servant is that will wash their feet…but there is no one.

There is not even a Gentile, the next on the list of servants that would be forced to the task. 

So as the disciples look around, it is Jesus, the Son of God, who puts on the apron and takes the basin, and kneels down before them to wash their feet.

The question that I leave with you today, is the question left in my book.

What would it mean in your setting- in the life of work, home or church- for me to ‘wash another’s feet? And in what ways could the Church be seen to follow its Master’s example?

No comments:

Post a Comment