"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the form of a servant." (Philippians 2:5-7)
During His earthly ministry, Jesus' feet took Him many places - through crowded cities, across the open countryside, over mountains, through winding valleys, across the rugged terrain of Israel, and even onto the raging waters of the Sea of Galilee. Every step Jesus took was filled with purpose: bringing hope, faith, and forgiveness; providing healing, peace, and joy to people everywhere.
His feet brought Him, one last time, into the city of Jerusalem. It was the evening of the Passover and the Last Supper, which Jesus was about to share with His disciples. He knew His time had come; He would soon return to His Father in heaven. Later that night, He would be betrayed and arrested; the next day, beaten and crucified. His beautiful feet would be pierced. Nails would be driven into them. As the Scripture says, He was "pierced for our transgressions" (Isaiah 53:5 NIV).
That night, before Jesus died for the sins of the whole world, during the Passover meal, He began to wash the disciples' feet. After He had finished, He said these words: "Do you understand what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do just as I have done to you" (John 13:12-15).
Traveling in the Holy Land was dirty business for feet. Sand and dust blew and were kicked up constantly. Entering a home meant removing one's sandals. And then, the lowest servant of the house would perform a foot washing on those disgustingly grimy feet.
Jesus, Teacher and Lord, took on the lowliest servant's role and did this for His disciples in an enormous gesture of love and service. He was about to die for them, and here He was, washing their feet, setting an example for them to serve others as He first served them.
Just as Jesus washed the disciples' feet, so He washed us in the waters of Baptism with new birth in the Spirit, giving us faith. He cleansed us of all our sin by His death on the cross so we might be saved.
In response to His incredible saving love, empowered by the Holy Spirit, we willingly serve one another as Jesus taught us to do. In humility, we can place others' needs ahead of our own (Philippians 2:3). With servant hearts, we perform those lowly tasks and labor that might be humbling.
We make meals, scrub floors, wipe noses, and clean up others' messes.
We pray for our friends as well as our enemies.
We continue to teach the Gospel, even when it seems no one is listening.
We forgive others, even when they are unrepentant.
We meet others' needs, even when it means sacrificing some of our own.
By God's grace, we serve just as Jesus did!
Dear Jesus, Your feet are truly beautiful! You humbly took the form of a servant and willingly went to the cross, dying that I might have life. Give me servant feet by Your Holy Spirit, that I may humbly serve others as You have taught me to do. In Your name. Amen.
In what ways have you humbly served others?
How, where, and to whom do you have opportunity to serve today?
From Beautiful Feet by Deb Burma © 2010 CPH. Reprinted with permission