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The Ultimate Act of Humility

July 16, 2010

Everyone knows the story of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples, but this week a friend sparked an interest for me in the action of our Lord that I had never took the time to think about. In Jewish culture it was the job for one of the servant (slaves) to wash the feet of visitors that entered the house. You see the streets of Jerusalem were made of dirt, and the dust would cover the feet, ankles and calves of most everyone who walked in the city. The humility of what Jesus does in Chapter 13 of the book of John is amazing; it is the ultimate picture of the servant-leader. Jesus is modeling true love. Jesus wasn’t looking for praise; He was looking for imitators.

There are multiple lessons to learn from this experience for us as believers, but you must look deeper than the text to grasp the depth of Jesus washing his disciple’s feet. To lift up your heel to someone in Jewish culture was to show great contempt for them. It would be very close to spitting on someone today in our culture. It was a sign for what was to come. Peter was so distraught over the situation he again questions Jesus’ reasons. Can you imagine questioning God in your presence? The whole experience I am sure was unnerving for these men.

Now comes the spark; Jesus washed the feet of Judas Iscariot! Just let that sit a minute. Think of the person who has most abused you in this life. It may be someone who sexually abuses you, or someone who has killed a family member, maybe someone who has betrayed you greatly through affairs or divorce; now imagine sitting at their feet and washing the dust as they laughed and tormented you. Even as I write this the tears begin to flow from the pain of my own life. Jesus washed the feet of the man who He knew would ultimately cost Him His life.

Could you wash the feet of Judas?

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