“So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him.” John 13:4
Tired and hungry, they came together for a final meal, the twelve and Jesus. It was time, a new covenant was ready to be ratified, they were prepared to partake. He had taught them the stipulations, reiterated the blessings, gathered many witnesses, but in their innocence the full terms of the contract still eluded them. Only he knew everything. Only he would carry every condition upon his shoulders.
I wonder if he felt the ache of the betrayal and rejection that was about to descend? The unfairness of the greatest moment on earth. I wonder if he hoped one would stay? Just one would hold true. His humanity would desire it, his divinity would surpass it.
Even as his omniscience unveiled the truth, what happens next seems implausible. His heart was laid bare in a prophetic act that proclaimed the ensuing day’s events and it began with this…
He stood and took off his robe.
God took off his robe and prepared to wash the feet of those who have followed him to this place.
Why would the Creator stoop to do the work of the household slave? Was he in a hurry? Was the slave unwell? Did he forget who he was? No, it was none of these. His timing was perfect, the slave nearby, and He knew the Father had given him all authority. He took off his robe and stooped because he chose to.
Peter missed the moment. We often miss the moment. His mind took over and his emotions erupted. He thought he knew better. We often think we do. And as teacher, Jesus kept teaching. “Rest Peter, let me do what I have come to do, let me wash your feet. Learn to be still, learn to rest in my presence and let me clean the dust that covers you. Let me be the servant that takes away your sin, because I love you.” It was the greatest gift of hospitality ever shown.
The God of Heaven and Earth stooped and washed twelve pairs of dirty feet. Feet that would flee, feet that would deny, feet that would hide and feet that would betray. He chose to wash their feet with full knowledge of their frailty. And now he does the same for us. Despite our fear and failure whether past, present, or future, he chooses to wash our feet every day.
He took off his robe for them and he takes off his robe for us. We matter that much to him.
Lord, come wash my feet today I pray.