Having spent my childhood in North Florida, I developed the attitude that shoes were optional and dirty feet were a way of life. During summer breaks from school, I looked for tadpoles- barefoot, played kickball- barefoot and even built forts in the woods- barefoot. By the end of the day it was hard to tell where my foot stopped and the dirty ground began. Frequently, my mother would tell me to hose off my feet in the yard before coming inside the house.
Even though Jesus didn’t have the benefit of a good garden hose, He was a foot washer. John 13 tells us the night before He died, Jesus washed the disciple’s feet and everyone seemed to like it except Peter. Peter couldn’t handle Jesus, the long awaited Messiah, humbling Himself by washing Peter’s feet.
Put yourself in Peter’s place. Imagine the King of Kings kneeling before you and washing your feet. First, He would take off your shoes and your well worn socks. As Jesus holds your foot in His hands, He gently begins to wash. Would you lean over and point to a place between your toes and say “Excuse me Jesus, you missed a spot.”? Or would you grab His towel and proclaim, like Peter “You shall never wash my feet!” ? (John 13:8),
If I had been there, I’m afraid I would have reacted like Peter. I’d feel unworthy to have Jesus kneeling before me, much less washing my nasty feet. Can you hear yourself saying, “No, really Jesus, my feet are just fine. Thanks for offering but I’d be happy to wash your feet?” Too many Christians devoutly serve Christ yet resist Jesus serving them. But, Jesus’ response to Peter is His response to us, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” Letting Jesus wash your feet sure looks like a good idea.
The thing is, Jesus is not going to show up in your living room with a towel and a pail of water. But he might inspire others to do it for Him. When others ask you if you need help, do you say “No, I’m fine?” Saying “I’m Fine” is one of those responses that probably slips out of your mouth with out even thinking. But that person you just turned away may have been sent by Jesus to care for you.
Jesus knows when the burdens and hardships of living in this world are wearing you down. He knows the road you’re walking and how hard it is on your poor tired feet. Letting Jesus use others to care for you is another way for you to draw closer to Him.
So pay attention the next time you are tempted to tell someone you are “fine”. Not all the foot washers Jesus sends will show up with a towel and a pail of water. All a good foot washer really needs is a willing heart and your worn out pair of feet.