"I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you" (John 13:15).
Are we angry with someone? Do we feel another's hostility? Is there a rupture of any kind with another person for whom our dear Jesus died? Have we a breach of love or confidence that we need to repair? Are we allowing misunderstandings to stand in the way of happiness, our own and another's?
"I have set before you an example..." What a mean service to render to lowly men, taking up a towel and washing their feet! And yet this is not how Jesus viewed it at all. "The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve" even the man who was to betray Him! O! what a lesson there is here in this grand action by our Creator and Redeemer! It defies sinful imagination but fires up a restored and Spirit-filled imagination to go to that person who irritates and angers us and kneel before him or her and immerse their feet -- and our own hurting and hating heart -- in the cleansing water. How on earth can we continue to harbor bitterness in our hearts after doing this, even if only in our imagination? By beholding our Jesus doing it for us, and our doing it for others, then we can love others with His love.
Jesus could have easily let His beloved disciples wash their own feet. Peter in his human pride said to Jesus, "No, you shall never wash my feet" (v.8). But Jesus lovingly explained to Peter that, unless He washed his feet, Peter would have no part with Him. When He was finished, Jesus asked them, "Do you understand what I have done for you?" (v.12). Could they -- or we -- possibly understand what He has done for us all in this supreme act of love and humility?
The thought of His humble action and His great love is overwhelming. May we in spirit and in Spirit follow His example and pray that we may be worthy of His towel ministry.