Bible Reading: John 13:1-17
Key verse: John 13:14 “So if I your Lord and Teacher have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.”
Why did Jesus do it? Why did he wash their feet? Why did he break the bread and give the cup to his disciples on that final night? Maundy Thursday, our Lord and Savior — washing feet and breaking bread. I’d like to suggest two reasons.
First (and the more obvious reason) is that Jesus wants us to do the same (John 13:14). As followers of Christ, we should lower ourselves and lift up the lowly. When I was serving as a pastor of a house church in Kazakhstan, we would share a meal after Sunday worship services. I love to cook, so on occasions I would cook and clean for the congregation. For those who are not familiar with the culture of Central Asia, pastors are revered and considered one step below Jesus. Thus, for many of the older members, they had a real problem with their pastor cooking and cleaning up after them! In fact, they insisted that I sit down and yelled for someone “lower” to take my place. Realizing over time that I would not listen, they eventually came to accept my act of service and hospitality. In the end, the congregation decided to take turns cooking and cleaning each week as they learned to serve one another. Jesus humbled himself even to death on a cross and was willing to sacrifice His life for others. As followers of Christ, we are called to a life of serving and sacrifice, especially for the forgotten and the least in society.
Second, Jesus broke bread and washed feet to show us our true worth. When he washed the feet of his disciples, it was an expression of their position. Only people of high position were served in this way. For the rest of their lives and especially when they would fall, each disciple could look back and remember that the King of Kings, the Son of the Living God, washed their feet! In the eyes of God, they were people worthy of such an honor — not because of anything they did, but because when Christ died on the cross, He took our sin and shame and exchanged it for His glory and righteousness. Through the blood of Christ, we have become heirs and co-heirs with Christ the King (Romans 8:17). That makes us princes and princesses to God. We are royalty. That is who we are. No matter what happens, no matter what people may think or say about you, no matter how much money you make or what kind of job you have, remember your true identity. You are sons and daughters of the living God, created in God’s image, living masterpieces that have been restored through the blood of Christ.