Having a pedicure is one of life’s treats. If you have ever had one, you understand the magnitude of this extravagance! Today, foot washing is a luxury and comes at a hefty price.
In Biblical times, ‘foot washing’ was viewed as hospitality and offered to every guest entering your home. In the event of an honored guest, the home owner, himself, washed the guest’s feet.
I Samuel 25:41 is the first mention of foot washing as an act of humility. Sometimes, there is more than one ‘lesson’ in familiar scripture. The foot washing scriptures in John 13 are rightfully taught as an example of how important it is to have the heart of a servant.
The Bible even says that we are to be like Christ, who humbled himself and became a servant as our life example (Matt. 20: 26-28). There is no act more expressive of servant hood than to be willing to wash the feet of others.
However, could there be another lesson; other than the obvious lesson of humble service? Jesus pointed out to Peter that if he didn’t ALLOW his feet to BE washed, then he had no part in “Him,” the Christ.
A very big part of loving others, including God, is ALLOWING ourselves to be loved. So often, when it is our turn to receive, we feel uncomfortable or embarrassed. Yet, common sense reveals that you can only give so much till the vessel is empty and must be refilled.
The Bible illustrates that receiving is a natural return of giving! (Luke 6:38 “Give and it shall be given to you.) Both giving and receiving are an important part of a loving relationship.
When you give from your own stores, without first receiving from God, there’s a vacuum in your heart. Bitterness and anger can easily take over when we are focused only on serving. God’s first act was to—give. Our first action must be to–receive God’s gift.
One of satan’s tricks is to tell us that we aren’t worthy of God’s love. We must EARN it; by doing more and more and more. In Luke 10:38-42 Jesus illustrated that Mary’s desire to sit and be ministered to was to be chosen first over the busyness of Martha’s servant hood.
Obviously, Jesus was not saying sitting at the feet of Jesus is our ONLY ambition. He did not tell the busy sister to stop and not go back to her serving; He said to choose sitting at His feet—first.
Christianity isn’t about rules, or about works; it’s about relationship. When we have relationship, God’s ways are not hard or demanding. But we must make time to receive in order to pour out that love to others. Sit at the feet of Jesus today; let Him wash your tired, achy, busy heart with his Word. Then, go and put on your servant hood.
John 13:6-9 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”
Prayer: Lord, help me to not only be a servant but to humble myself and allow myself to be served. Unless I understand the need to receive, as well as serve, I can’t fully understand Christ’s gift at Calvary. Jesus gave, I must receive, then I can serve. I want a humble servant’s heart. I love you, amen.
Matt. 20: 26-28 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
Luke 10:38-42 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”