Jesus has done many miracles and taught with great wisdom. Yet, one thing that continued to astonish me is Jesus washing the feet of the disciples. It is so ordinary. It is so mundane. It is so low. Yet, Jesus did it without hesitation.
I love how John described this scene in John 13. First, he wanted us to know that Jesus did not do this out of random. He knew His time to die on the cross is coming (John 13:1). If you know you are going to die, what would you do? You will probably do something important. Maybe say goodbye to your loved ones. Check off your bucket list. No one will ever consider cleaning his/her home as something important. Yet, Jesus did this mundane act before his death.
John also described Jesus received all the powers given by God the Father (John 13:3). Imagine if you are the most powerful person in the world, like superman or Thanos, with all the Infinity stones. What would you do? You wouldn’t be cleaning your home.
If Jesus wanted, He could snap His fingers, and His disciples’ feet would be clean instantly. After all, He raised the dead, healed the blind, the lame walked because of Him. Yet, He got up, got down on His knees, and washed each of His disciples’ feet (John 13:4-5).
In our modern culture, we may not understand how low this task is. If you are a Christian long enough, you would see this act done between leaders or different Christians. In Jesus’ times, there are no shoes or socks. You wear sandals. Since the roads are muddy and dusty, it sticks on your feet. Plus, horses and mules are on the road, and they leave big stinky stuff behind as they go. Imagine your feet walking around all these the whole day. Yes, they get filthy.
Such a task is not fit for a leader, and it is why Peter found it so repulsive when Jesus washed his feet (John 13:6). It is as if your pastor or leader come to your home and scrub the toilet. You will never allow that to happen. Yet, this is what Jesus is doing. Jesus is setting us an example of what it means to be His follower and what it means to follow Him (John 13:13-16). He also added that we are blessed if we do it (John 13:17). Notice the blessing is conditional. If we do this, we are blessed.
The flesh (sinful) part of me doesn’t want Jesus to wash the disciples’ feet. Because if He did it, then I have to do it too. It means being humble to do tasks no one wants to do because I am following Him as an example. It hurts my ego. This is good pain, as pride and ego never produce any good fruit.
In church, it is easy to gravitate toward the ‘spiritual’ things like ministry or miracles. Being in the charismatic circle for a few years, I’ve experienced and heard of miracles. I am not to say we don’t seek God for them. I do not deny that our God is a miracle-working God. At the same time, Jesus can be so ordinary.
Spiritual matters can puff our pride if our heart is not right. The best way to discern one’s heart is not how big the miracle or the gathering is. Am I serving and doing things no one noticed because God has called me to do so?
Spiritual pride is hard to discern. It is so elusive. I am not talking about judging others, but rather my self. Spiritual pride tends to talk about testimonies, miracles, and stories about God, but the focus is not on God, rather it is on me. It is shouting, “look at me. Look how great I am as God’s worker!”. It is the secret desire to post on Facebook to feel good when lots of people like it, so I feel approved. This is actually stealing God’s glory.
Am I joyful in the small and unseen things as much as in the big thing that God is moving? If there is any envy, jealousy, or anger, it is not the Spirit. It is the flesh.
Right now, I am in a season where I am not doing much ministry. I am learning what it means when Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 10:13 that says:
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.1 Corinthians 10:13
As much as our God is an extraordinary God, He is also an ordinary God. Jesus multiplied bread and also get hungry. He walked on water and walked on land. He gets tired, and He rests. And in all things, He did it for the glory of God.
Jesus, the King of Kings and Lord of Lord, came on earth as a babe, sanctified the ordinary things. May I do the same.