Must we wash one another's feet?

The night in which Jesus was betrayed, He washed His disciples' feet (John 13:12-17). Before that, the apostles were in an argument with one another about the question "which of them should be accounted greatest" (Luke 22:24). Then the Lord gave them a practical demonstration of true humility and what he meant when he said: "Who is greater - the one who sits at table or the servant who waits on him? Surely the one who sits at table. Yet here I am among you like a servant" (Luke 22:26-27).

 This is the lesson He taught them when He washed their feet. Christians must be willing to serve one another regardless of status or importance.

 We do not need to take water and wash one another's feet in our days. It was a custom in the days when Jesus was on earth. People did not travel by car or bicycle or by other means. They had to travel on foot. Their shoes were sandals. The roads were dusty or muddy when it rained. At the entrance to every house there was a waterpot and towel, and servants (where it was possible) washed the guests' feet. It was a humiliating task. But Jesus esteemed himself not too important for a task so humiliating.

 What he wants to say to you and me is: Don't try to establish your own importance in church or society. Be willing to do as I did to serve your fellow men, especially Christians with a sincere heart and humility. Do not be cross when someone else is called to do an important work for the Lord, while you must do a little job. No! do anything for Jesus - not to be honoured by men - but because you love the Lord dearly.

 But even today it may make a great impression if the leader(s) of a group surprise the group by washing their feet and praying for each one in turn. This will emphasize the important message that Jesus tried to teach His disciples. In some churches in Africa the footwashing is even observed as a third sacrament besides holy communion and baptism.