Devotion for Maundy Thursday

Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. During supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray Him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth from God and was going back to God, got up from supper, and laid aside His garments; and taking a towel, He girded Himself.
Then He poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. So He came to Simon Peter. He said to Him, “Lord, do You wash my feet?” Jesus answered and said to him, “What I do you do not realize now, but you will understand hereafter.” Peter said to Him, “Never shall You wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, then wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head.” Jesus said to him, “He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.” For He knew the one who was betraying Him; for this reason He said, “Not all of you are clean.”
So when He had washed their feet, and taken His garments and reclined at the table again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. ~ John 13:1-15

Today, our feet seldom get dirty. We wear shoes and socks most of the time, and even our shoes are usually shiny and clean. But in the time of Jesus, the streets weren’t paved and there was no sewer system. The people wore sandals and walked through the muddy streets, stepping in sewage and animal waste. It was typical for a host to have a servant wash his guests’ feet when they arrived because they would be filthy—and probably smelly, too. Washing of feet was a chore assigned to the lowliest of servants because it was nasty job. Yet Jesus Christ Himself, the Savior of the World, our Lord and Savior, humbled Himself to wash the feet of His disciples. And we are called to act just as humbly as He did.

Almighty God, I want to serve You, but I’m more inclined to want to do so from a clean and comfortable office than on the streets. Yet You call us to serve the lowliest of Your people in the humblest of circumstances. Give me the will and the power to do so. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

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