Object Lessons of Jesus – Foot-Washing

Object Lessons of Jesus – Foot-Washing

Object Lessons – Foot-Washing.

“After washing their feet, He put His robe on and returned to His place at the table. ‘Do you understand what I just did?’ Jesus said. ‘You’ve called me your Teacher and Lord, and you’re right, for that’s who I am. So if I’m your Teacher and Lord and have just washed your dirty feet, then you should follow the example that I’ve set for you and wash one another’s dirty feet. Now do for each other what I have just done for you. I speak to you a timeless truth: a servant is not superior to his master, nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him.  So now put into practice what I have done for you, and you will experience a life of happiness enriched with untold blessings.'” (John 13:12-17).

OBJECTS: A bowl of water and a towel.

LESSON: Sometimes there is some overlap between related methods of teaching: object lessons, visual aids and demonstrations at times blend together. There are times when an object is used to demonstrate a principle. There are times when a visual object is used to teach a lesson. The momentous event of Jesus washing the feet of His disciples is an example of this sort of blending of methods. Jesus wanted to make sure His lesson was learned, and He did what He could to make it very clear.

Imagine yourself in the Upper Room on Thursday night at the Last Supper. The Passion is starting in earnest. Jesus is just beginning to wash the dirty feet of each one of His disciples, including Judas. This was certainly the work of the lowliest house servant, not the Lord, the Master, the Messiah! No one else offered to do this simple, menial act of hospitality, so Jesus stepped right in. Here we are again, Jesus thinks, right in the middle of a very important teachable moment. Jesus took off His robe, wrapped a towel around His waist, filled a bowl with water, and proceeded to wash everyone’s feet. This was undoubtedly very startling and confusing to the disciples. They have just experienced three years of astounding miracles and spellbinding teachings. Certainly this task was beneath Him! The Master acting as a slave? But Jesus wanted to teach the disciples this important lesson about humility. He wanted to demonstrate what He wanted His disciples to do after He has left this world. He desired to be an example of the spirit in which to engage in their ministry in His name. He yearned for His disciples to be humbly willing to serve each other and the world at large. Jesus is saying, If I can be this humble, so can you. If I can put my meekness into practice like this, so can you. You need to understand that there is nothing beneath you as you minister for the Kingdom. There is nothing too menial or basic or dirty. This foot-washing was a defining moment. This was a sacred moment, and the Upper Room was holy ground. Instead of a consuming fire or a burning angel, we have a bowl of water and a clean towel. It only seems right that everyone had to take off their sandals. And in their ministry soon thereafter, they were comfortable touching the untouchable, just like Jesus.