The Last Week: Thursday (5 of 8) by Joe Alain
This content is part of a series.The Last Week: Thursday (5 of 8)
Series: The Last Week of Jesus’ Life
‘‘Maundy Thursday’’ is based on John’s account, the word ‘‘Maundy’’ derived from the Latin word for the ‘‘mandate,’’ the new commandment that Jesus gives his followers in John 13:34.
Imagine your surprise if you saw the President of the United States shining someone’s shoes, or the Queen of England giving someone a pedicure? The disciples were undoubtedly shocked and amazed when Jesus took up the basin and the towel and began to wash their feet. He was their master! He was their Lord! Foot washing is not something that masters do.
In the days of Jesus, foot washing was typically done by the servants of one’s household, and it certainly wasn’t a glamorous job. People’s feet get really dry and dirty and calloused and cracked when they walk around for miles wearing sandals. To wash someone’s feet was as act of hospitality and care. It was also an act of servitude and humility. No wonder Simon said, ‘‘You will never wash my feet’’ (13:8). Not Jesus! Not his master! Not ever! Still, there was Jesus with his basin of water and his towel. He knelt in front of them one by one and washed their dirty feet, calluses and all.
From the actions seen in Verses 4-5 we have an overall summary of Jesus’ life and ministry.
(1) Jesus ‘‘rose from supper.’’ God the Father, on His heavenly throne, rose up from His place and responded to our need. He saw us in our sin and He rose up in response.
(2) Jesus ‘‘laid aside His garments.’’ God laid aside His garment of glory and left heaven to take up the form of a human being. See Philippians 2:5-8; Hebrews 2:14a, 17.
(3) Jesus ‘‘began to wash the disciples feet.’’ Jesus came as a servant. Foot washing was practiced out of necessity. Jesus was not above doing the menial tasks, the ordinary, the things that no one else wanted to do or would do. Jesus took the ordinary things of life and made them holy. The basin and towel was h ...
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