If it weren’t for yer Gumboots, where would yer be? You’d be in the Hospital or Infirmary! You’d be down with a dose of the Flu or even Pleurisy! If it weren’t for yer feet in yer Gumboots!  Fred Dagg

That’s how one cares for ones’ feet in NZ; over here we stick em in Jandals (sorry) Thongs and get them covered in dust and rubbish as we go about.  

In Palestine in Jesus’ Time they had the same problem with dusty dirty feet from walking about in Sandals.   So, water was always made available for guests to wash off the accumulated grime when they came to visit.

Now, Jesus made a big thing of this by washing his disciples’ feet.  Peter didn’t understand and objected loudly until Jesus explained that the act of him washing Peter’s feet was symbolic of their relationship; and then Peter, being Peter, wanted a complete bath!

Jesus said, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

So, it was more than just neutralizing foot odor, but what?   Well I reckon “Random acts of Kindness” comes pretty close to explaining it, because these guys had come in with stinky feet and must have felt uncomfortable and even embarrassed about their state.   So, even though they were uneasy with their Master doing the task, they would have felt a lot more human afterwards.

And then Jesus tells them (and us) to wash each other’s feet.   To serve each other, to ease another’s burden, to encourage, to bless, to think less about themselves and more about the other.

It was not that much earlier they had been arguing about which of them was the greatest!

“By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another.” John chapter 13


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