Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing, you do not understand now, but you will understand later.” John 13:7 NABRE
During a meal before Passover, Jesus initiates a servant model often called the washing of feet. Jesus kneels with a basin of water, ties a towel around His waist and begins to wash the feet of his disciples, a servant’s task. In doing this Jesus knows His Apostles do not understand, Peter expresses discontent seeing Jesus as Master not servant. Jesus performs this task as a model for His Apostles, so they will know going forward they are servants just as Jesus serves. With Peter’s challenge about having His feet washed, Jesus tells him he does not understand but will understand later. In the moment they didn’t see Jesus as a servant leader but someone they look up to, a leader to be honored. In time, with the help of the Holy Spirit all Apostles become servant leaders and understand Jesus teaching in this moment very well, in fact I am certain they repeat this ritual and it may have become a part of a liturgical celebration at some point. Jesus comment can be thought of more generally, in all that Jesus has done we have difficulty assimilating to Jesus way of living, we only hope in time to fully understand. Jesus’ message of love and service is opposed to the human drive to be at the top, leading with commands. Jesus does not seek power through strength only the power God provides in weakness.
The spiritual journey is one of many deaths, dying to self and lifting up others. In the washing of feet each one allows Jesus to serve them, suppressing a certain pride, allowing Him. Serving and being served are challenges for each of us, but if we don’t allow them, we are never going to understand what Jesus is trying to teach us.
Have you washed someone’s feet? Have you allowed someone to wash your feet?The spiritual journey is one of many deaths, dying to self and lifting up others. Serving and being served are challenges for each of us, but if we don't allow them, we are never going to understand what Jesus is trying to teach us. Click To Tweet
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