14 Lessons Toward Passover: Foot Washing and Humility (Part 8)

In a world full of pride, arrogance, and self-importance, the Passover stands tall to teach us a lesson in humility and service. Part of the Passover ceremony is the foot washing. It is a commandment given by Jesus on the evening before His death. Let us learn the important lessons from this very significant symbolism included in Passover.

You also ought to wash one another’s feet

The Apostle John recorded the events leading to Christ’s arrest and suffering. He wrote:

“Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded” (John 13:3-5).

This is the very act of Jesus, the LORD and CREATOR of all things. He is the God who became flesh and now, he stoop down to the lowest level of a servant and wash the disciples’ feet!

Now, can you imagine someone doing that right now with all humility and no hypocrisy? Can you imagine the world’s leaders (like Obama, Merkel, Putin, Cameron, and many others) today washing their servant’s feet? Can you imagine the leaders of your church washing another’s feet? Or can you imagine yourself, bending your knees in humility and wash very dirty feet?

Yet, we can see Jesus assumed a lowly role and He did this to show us an example of the kind of humility we should all have. Jesus added:

“So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, ‘Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, 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 as I have done to you’ ” (John 13:12-15).

Jesus did not just stop in demonstrating the type of humility and service that we should have. He did not just do it but he COMMANDED His followers today to wash one another’s feet. This is not just a request my friend, but it is a command given by our Teacher and Lord.

Service with humility

We have a shortage of humility within our society. Even if we find so-called “humble servants”, we would suddenly doubt their intentions and later find out that it is all just for a show.

How about us? Are we serving one another in humility? Are we willing to assume even the lowest jobs and tasks within the church? OR do we just choose areas where we want to serve, thinking that we’re too good for menial tasks?

Jesus Christ described what makes a GREAT Christian. In one occasion when the disciples disputed among them who is the greatest, Jesus said:

Matthew 20:25-28: “But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall NOT be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

So if you want to be a great Christian, you better SERVE! There’s no other way to do this but to serve. The Disciples of Christ had a wrong concept of being a great Christian and they were corrected for it. We, too, can have the wrong attitude and belief if we don’t perform the foot washing ceremony.

More than just a physical act of washing

When we come to Passover, we need to have a humble attitude. Humility does not come naturally. It must be learned. It must be consciously practiced. God cannot use a proud human being. Thus, He has to humble us first before He can fully use us.

Though washing one another’s feet is a physical act, it teaches us valuable spiritual lessons. Since Jesus Christ did it for us, we ought to do the same. We must have the servant-attitude and the willingness to perform even the most unpleasant tasks that are set before us.

The foot washing ceremony is a reminder that Jesus came to this world not to be served, but to serve. If we are really the true followers of Christ, then it is very important for us to follow the example of Christ. But how many Christians or church organizations do really observe and teach this? Barely just a few.

Therefore, let us be different. Let us step out of our comfort zone and serve one another with humility and the right motivation. We need to serve one another without thinking of anything in return. God sees everything and He will bless us according to His will and purpose.

I hope we all learn the lessons from the foot washing ceremony and apply them in our lives.

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