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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Foot Washing, Anyone?

What would it mean if I washed your feet? Not a lot.

Jesus washed His disciples' feet. I can hardly imagine God, coming to earth as a human being, having to live among us and, then, not washing the disciples' hands but their smelly, dirty feet. I can't imagine the humility. The example speaks so loudly that I know I can never attain such humility. Jesus was right when He said that a student cannot be above his teacher. I certainly cannot attain the humility of my Lord. I could not attain the humility of Jesus if I was to wash lepers' feet. I simply would not be stooping down to do so.

God gives humility high regard. It must be an absolute necessity to be in a good relationship with Him. It must please Him we deny our rights to serve those who do not deserve our service. The act means we understand what Jesus has done by coming to earth. It means that we have identified with Him so strongly that we can join Him in His work.

I cannot ever say that something is beneath me since the infinite God has stooped so low. I can never demand my rights with others since the infinite God gave up His rights for me. I can never call myself greater than any other.

I know there are churches who practice foot washing. I don't think there is anything wrong with it but I don't think that all the foot washing has to be foot washing. I believe it is swallowing your pride and apologizing. I believe that it is giving your seat of honor to another. It doesn't mean you should think little of yourself. It means you stop thinking of yourself at all.

Should I start washing feet? I don't think I am worthy.

John 13:13-17 (ESV)
13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

1 comment:

Anthony Chia said...

Concerning this feet-washing of John 13, I have much to say, but I will choose to be brief, here. If it was that particular feet-washing as was recounted for us, in John 13, the CENTRAL theme there was NOT, I believe, about humility, but that of on-going forgiveness by the Lord that we are to experience, in order that we can continue to be a part of Him, our Lord. It is NOT to say that generally, feet-washing does NOT illustrate humility; it does, but that occasion of feet-washing was NOT particularly about that. Don’t get me wrong, I am NOT saying those who teach humility using feet-washing as illustration are WRONG, but we also should know what the central theme of Jesus was, in using the symbolisms of that occasion of the Last Supper. For my exposition of these symbolisms of the Last Supper, go to: Last Supper – When did Jesus’ symbolisms start?

I originally wanted to do a “cut and paste” of a part of that article, to give understanding, but I decided NOT, since it will make this comment too lengthy. I encourage you to read the article given, instead.

Coming to whether feet-washing is to be practiced to move people to humility, I will say this: Such things like humility and love, they cannot be forced. They are first of all choices to be made. It is we have to choose to love and choose to be humble, first of all. Like love, people can do a thing, but it can be devoid of love. When people received it as they are being forced, soon enough, they would react the other way; like they would absent themselves, and if you pursue their absenteeism, they may just leave.

It is definitely NOT wrong to hold to, we must love or we must be humble, but it is wrong to hold to “if you are NOT perfect, don’t come to my church”. At times, I do feel for God, and agree that He does NOT have an easy job. Do you think we, as undershepherds, can expect to have an easy job, if we are to follow His ways? It will NOT be, for you cannot be too quick to turn anyone out of the flock! But it is a great honor to be His undershepherd; NOT necessarily honor from men, but you are honoured by God when you shepherd as He shepherds.

Well, some may decline; others, would accept it if it is the pastoral team who is to wash the feet of the members! Feet-washing be done together with Holy Communion, as in the Last Supper, anyone?!!!!!

In my church there was an occasion of feet-washing: a member washed the feet of the Senior Pastor, and then on a separate occasion, church pastoral team washed the feet of congregation members. As I have privy to the circumstance of that occasion, it was more of an act of reconciliation because some decisions and actions of the past which had hurt both sides. It was symbolic of corporate forgiveness from both sides. As I understood it, that occasion, the member acted under the direction of the Holy Spirit; and the church, in part, from that, entered into a season of God pleasing to work signs and wonders and miracles in the church, through both church leaders and ordinary members, alike! We have had pastors asked for prayers from members!

Anthony Chia, high.expressions