There had been some disputing* between them on their way to the supper. They arrived on time, but there was something amiss – something still lingering in the air.
It was a customary kindness to wash the road dust off the feet of one another upon arrival. But this time no one made a move to do it. So the host stepped forward, taking over the duty himself. He poured water in a basin and, one by one, washed the feet of each guest, wiping them dry with a towel. (See Luke 22, NIV)
Later, he would say to them, “I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.” (John 13:15)
Years ago, after a college reunion, I went with one of my friends to her house for a visit. It was wet and rainy, and when I arrived my feet were cold and pretty damp. Her sister came to the door and, seeing my feet, ushered me into the kitchen, sat me down in a chair and grabbed a towel. Then, she began to take off my shoes. I glimpsed a bit of what the disciples must have felt. I said, “No, that’s alright, I’ll do it.” She insisted – and continued until I was dry. I was so humbled by that kindness, that I have never forgotten it.
“To tell me what I ought to think or what I ought to do is insufficient. I need someone to show me how to think and act as I ought. It is not enough to tell me how I ought to feel or what I ought to be. I want someone who will be the kind of a person that he wants me to be… We must see the ideal life in one who has lived it… It is example, not words, which inspires us to make the effort… and gives us confidence…”*
(*William Adams Brown, Interpreter’s Bible – p. 686)
Kay Olson, CSB is a Christian Science practitioner in Pennsylvania. She loves to have feedback and comments! You can reach her through your comment below, or by writing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.