Foot Washing

In Bible times, after walking the dusty roads, the lowest ranking servant washed the guest’s feet in the host’s house. Yet after washing His disciple’s feet as a symbol of humility and love, Jesus said, “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you” (Jn 13:4-17). Although the disciples may have been happy to wash Jesus' feet, they would not have condescend to washing each other's feet. The disciples had been debating as to which of them were the greatest among them, an attitude that precluded a willingness to stoop to such a low menial task (Lk 22:24). Meeting the needs of others by such practical blessing was one of the ‘love’ qualities that was looked for in members of the NT church (1 Tim 5:10).

As this custom is not required in developed societies today, what is the equivalent act of hospitality that I can do to bless people? Am I willing to do ‘servant’ tasks, ministering to the needs of others to bless them? Jesus said, whatever you do for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you do for me; conversely if you fail to minister in love to those

Do I see needs and meet them if appropriate?

in need you are in reality failing to do so for me (Mt 25:35-45). In doing such works of service, we are not to show favouritism by differentiating because of people’s positions or attributes (Jas 2:1-3).

See also: favouritism, feet, hospitality, humility, servant/serving.