When my husband I were first married, he confessed to having some very personal concerns. He had done his own wash up until then but now I would take over that chore. I wasn’t concerned, but he felt uncomfortable having someone else handle his dirty socks and underwear.
In John 12, Peter had similar concerns that night when Jesus approached him, knelt down and prepared to wash his feet. Perhaps he felt unclean like Isaiah standing before the Lord’s throne. “Never! Lord, I’ll never let you wash my feet!” But Jesus convinced Peter that this act of service was a lesson on humility, one that the disciples should be willing to do for one another.
What was it like for Jesus to wash the leathery feet of this blustering fisherman? Jesus touched the rough callouses. He felt the scars built up from years of walking on basalt rock by the Sea of Galilee. Sharp cracked toenails didn’t give the impression of “beautiful feet” that bring the gospel of peace! Yet Jesus bent before his disciple and bathed those feet with love.
Did Peter later wash the feet of a highly educated theologian named Paul or a wise old man named Barnabas or a young upstart called Timothy? Washing feet is far more intimate than throwing another person’s dirty laundry in a machine. As skin touches skin, a bond forms that connects the two people on a deep level.
What act of humility can you perform today that will demonstrate God’s love to someone you know?