“Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me.”
John 13:4-17"So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him. 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!” Jesus replied, “A person who has bathed all over does not need to wash, except for the feet, to be entirely clean. And you disciples are clean, but not all of you.” For Jesus knew who would betray him. That is what he meant when he said, “Not all of you are clean.” After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “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. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message. Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them."
I love the example of Jesus in this passage. He wanted and willingly knelt down to wash the feet of his disciples. He used this moment as a teachable moment. I love this subject, and I pray that I will be and continue to be a servant leader wherever I am. The ultimate servant leader was Christ Himself. In this passage Jesus kneels down and begins to wash the mud and dirt off of His disciple’s feet. A job meant for the lowest slave, but not for the most Humble of Kings.
I have participated in many foot washing ceremonies. In fact, my most memorable foot washing was when I was passing the torch from being the leader of a Bible Study group to the next leader. I took the leaders bare foot in my hands, and said to him, "Serve them, with everything in you, serve them like Jesus, and love them like Jesus." Then the leader washed everyone's feet in the study. It was quite a sight. What would your subordinates think if you decided to wash their feet?