John 13: 12-17 “After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.”
I love this image of Jesus. Jesus has gained a lot of attention at this point in his life. After all, a few days before this, people were waving branches and laying down their robes in the street to honor and celebrate Jesus entering the city. Jesus was known as a Rabbi, a Teacher that people were supposed to follow, look up to, and frankly others were supposed to serve and cover the needs of the Teacher and Rabbi.
Jesus completely flips the script here, he kneels down at the feet of the disciples. The feet that have been walking on the path along side animals and more. The feet that were to be seen and touched by the servants and people that were seen as lowly and the “other”, this is the position that Jesus took. He does not end there. After washing the feet of the disciples, He says that this is the example of how those who follow him are to live in the world.
Jesus reminds us that we are not to serve and love others based on who they are or who they are not. We are not to serve someone based on what they have to give, or what they do not have. We are to serve others because that is what love is, that is who Jesus is. There is a prayer from Saint Francis of Assisi that says it this way:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred let me sow love; Where there is injury, pardon; Where there is doubt, faith; Where there is despair, hope; Where there is darkness, light; Where there is sadness, joy.
Lord, help us live our life, following the example of your Son, Jesus. May we serve all around us, not based on who we feel needs our help but based on who we are called to be as servants of all. Amen.