“You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. -John 13:13-17 NRSV
I wonder if, in the early church, the disciples ever washed each other's feet. There is no record of it in Acts but I wonder if they did? For sure some modern denominations have foot washing ceremonies much in the way that many churches have communion services. Yet it seems that, in making these things ceremonial, we miss what Jesus was teaching.
Could it be that foot washing was simply an example of servanthood and communion a path to deeper relationships? Perhaps Jesus was not instituting a system of sacramental worship but showing us what it means to be his followers - people more concerned about following his examples of service and fellowship than making these things religious.
Awaken my heart Lord. Teach me what it means to wash the feet of your children.
... this devotion is part of an ongoing series on the Gospel of John.