Laying Aside & Pouring Out: Anointing the Feet of Jesus & Washing the Feet of Others In Worship

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel account of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ as written and recorded by the apostle John. More specifically, today’s passage is found in the first seventeen verses of the thirteenth chapter. When you come to this particular portion of scripture you will find the feast of the Passover drawing nearer—this final feast of the Passover which would be celebrated by Jesus the Christ while upon the earth. What makes this chapter particularly interesting is that all the feasts which Jesus celebrated would ultimately lead up to this final feast—this final feast of the Passover which Jesus the Christ would celebrate while upon the earth with His twelve disciples. As you come to this thirteenth chapter of the gospel written by the apostle John you will find the apostle writing of the approaching feast of the Passover and supper having come to an end that evening—the night when Jesus and His twelve disciples and companions celebrated the Passover together in the upper room. It’s worth noting what is found and written within this passage of scripture, for it is quite astonishing and remarkable when you consider it in light of what was written and recorded within the previous chapter. Before getting into the words which Jesus spoke unto His disciples on this particular night and on this particular occasion it’s necessary to consider the events which unfold in this chapter versus those that unfold in the previous chapter. It’s quite remarkable to think about and consider the fact that within the first set of verses found within this chapter we find Jesus laying aside His garments, taking up a towel with which He girded Himself, and His filling a basin with water. Once He has girded Himself with a towel and filled the basin with water we find Jesus moving to each one of the disciples which were before Him and washing their feet. This is of supreme significance and importance, for when you turn and direct your attention to the previous chapter found within the gospel of John you will find a different event occurring at a different time—an event which took place not at the feet of the disciples, but at the very feat of Jesus. If you turn back to the previous chapter of the gospel written by the apostle John you will find a different meal and a different supper being prepared for Jesus the Christ. At this particular supper we find Jesus’ disciples being present with Him, as well as the family of three made up of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. It would be at this dinner and at this supper we find three different expressions of love manifested in the presence of Jesus within the house. Upon reading the opening verses of the twelfth chapter you will find a supper being prepared for Jesus, and three different expressions of love being manifested within and through the lives of Mary, Martha and Lazarus. We cannot read the opening verses of the twelfth chapter and not come face to face with the awesome and incredible manifestation of expressions of love which were put in full display—OT only before and in the presence of Jesus, but also in the company and presence of the disciples and others who might have been present at that meal and supper.

As you come to the twelfth chapter of the gospel written by the apostle John you will find it opening up with Lazarus having been raised from the dead, and a supper being prepared for Jesus. It would be at this supper and at this meal where we would find this family of three made up of Mary, Martha and Lazarus each putting on display their own expression of love in the company and presence of Jesus. If you read the words found in this chapter you will find the first expression of love being manifested within the life of Martha as the apostle John writes and records how at the supper Martha served. This is in all reality reminiscent of a previous passage we find in the gospel which the beloved physician Luke wrote, for within that gospel we find Jesus entering the town of Bethany, and a woman named Martha inviting Him unto her home. While Jesus was present within the home of Martha we find Martha cumbersome about with much serving and much labor as she undoubtedly sought to make all the provisions and preparations for the meal that was to be had that night. What the beloved physician Luke goes on to write and record is how in the same house was the sister of Martha—Mary—not engaged and cambered about with much labor and serving, but rather sitting at the feet of Jesus and hearing His word. Within this same event, within this same house, and within the presence of Jesus we find two different expressions and two different acts taking place. On the one hand we find Martha being cumbered about with much laboring and much serving, while on the other hand we find Mary simply sitting at the feet of Jesus hearing and listening to the word of Jesus. This is quite remarkable, for we find Martha speaking unto Jesus and entreating Him to implore her sister to help her serve. In response to Martha’s words Jesus simply exclaimed to her that she was anxious about many things, and how nary has chosen the better of two realities—namely, sitting at the feet of Jesus. Martha would speak unto Jesus and essentially ask Him if He cared that her sister Mary had left her to do all the serving—words which Jesus simply and gently spoke unto Martha and declared unto her that Mary had chosen the better of the two realities. I often wonder what happened after Jesus spoke these words unto Martha and of age stopped serving and joined her sister at the fest of Jesus. Scripture is unclear as to this point, but it’s at least intriguing to think about and consider whether or not Martha abandoned her acts of serving within the house to join her sister at the feet of Jesus.

Directing your attention back to the twelfth chapter or the gospel written by the apostle John it’s quite astonishing to consider a different supper and different meal being prepared for Jesus within the town of Bethany. It’s interesting to think about and consider that at this particular dinner and supper we again find Mary and Martha present with the exception that on this occasion we also find their brother Lazarus present. At this supper we find Martha once more serving, however, when I read the words found within this passage I can’t help but consider Martha’s serving and her laboring as an act and expression of love in the presence of Jesus after He had just raised her brother from the dead. At this particular passage we find Martha’s expression of love in the presence of Jesus being that which she was perhaps most comfortable with—namely, serving and laboring among the needs of those before and around her. Undoubtedly Martha not only sought to serve and labor among the needs of those which were present within the house, but also laboring and serving the needs of Jesus. On this same night and on this same occasion we find Lazarus seated at the table with Jesus. Little is said about Lazarus’ actions as he sat there at the table in the presence of Jesus, however, I can’t help but look at and examine Lazarus being seated at the table with Jesus as a wonderful and powerful expression of fellowship. What’s more, is that the fellowship we find and see within the life of Lazarus takes place in two realms and in two different arenas. On the one hand we find Lazarus fellowshipping with Jesus the Christ, while on the other hand we find Lazarus fellowshipping with those who were present at the table with Jesus. Sitting there at the table we not only find Lazarus engaged in fellowship with Jesus the Christ who had raised him from the dead, but we find him engaged in fellowship with the disciples and followers of Jesus, and those who were present at the supper with them. What we must recognize and understand is that while serving was Martha’s expression of love, the ac and expression of love within the life of Lazarus was that of fellowship—both fellowship with Jesus the Christ, as well as fellowship with the disciples and followers of Jesus, and others who were present there. With that being said, there is yet a third expression Of love which was found present within this passage of scripture within the life and account of mary. As you read this passage you will find that while Martha served and while Lazarus sat at the table with Jesus, Mary came into the house with a pound of pure ointment band perfume and poured it out upon the feet of Jesus. There in the house in the company and presence of Jesus and all those who were present Mary showed complete and utter abandonment in the presence of and before Jesus as she poured out a pound of costly and fragrant perfume upon the feet of Jesus as she then wiped His feet with her hair. While we find Martha’s expression of love being in the realm of service, and Lazarus expression of love being in the realm of fellowship, we find Mary’s expression of love being in the realm of worship in the company of the disciples and in the presence of Jesus. Within this single event and within this single supper we find three distinct and three different expressions of love being manifested in the presence of Jesus and in the company of the disciples—namely, the expression of love through service, the expression of love through fellowship, and the expression of love through worship.

We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of that which is written and found within the twelfth chapter of the New Testament gospel which was written by the apostle John, for it helps when seeking to understand that which is found in the thirteenth chapter of the same gospel. It’s actually quite interesting and astonishing to think about and consider the fact that when you read the opening set of verses within the twelfth chapter of the gospel of John you find yourself at the feet of Jesus as Mary took a pound of costly and fragrant perfume and ointment with which she poured out upon and at the feet of Jesus. The twelfth chapter of the gospel written by John opens up with a powerful expression of worship in the presence of Jesus, as Mary positioned herself at the feet of Jesus—not only with pure and costly ointment and perfume with which she anointed the feet of Jesus, but also with her hair which she used to dry and wipe the feet of Jesus. It’s actually quite unique and intriguing to think about and consider the fact that it’s possible that when Mary left the presence of Jesus that night, and when Mary left the house her hair contained the fragrant aroma of the perfume which she poured out at and upon the feet of Jesus. The apostle John makes it perfectly clear that not only did Mary pour a pound of very costly and precious ointment on the feet of Jesus, but she also wiped His feet with her hair. Immediately following the anointing of the feet of Jesus with this very costly and fragrant perfume Mary would then take and use her hair in order that she might wipe and dry the feet of Jesus. I can’t help but find this to be absolutely wonderful and captivating, for undoubtedly when Mary had finished with her expression of love through worship, her hair carried with it the fragrant aroma and scent of the ointment and perfume she used upon the feet of Jesus. There is not a doubt in my mind that when Mary left the presence and feet of Jesus her hair carried with it the fragrant aroma of her expression of love through worship in the presence of Jesus the Christ. Pause for a moment and consider that reality, for it was possible that Mary carried with her the aroma and scent of her expression of love through worship at the feet of Jesus. Though her desire was to anoint the feet of Jesus with a very costly and fragrant perfume and ointment, she would find herself leaving the presence of Jesus, and leaving the house with the scent and fragrance of that encounter within and upon her hair. I can’t help but wonder how long that scent and aroma lingered within her hair, and if she didn’t take and carry that fragrance and aroma with her wherever she went. I can’t help but wonder within my heart if Mary continued about her daily business and daily life after this encounter, and if others took notice of the fragrant aroma and scent which emanated from her being. I can’t help but wonder if when Mary left the presence of Jesus that night she didn’t return home, or even to the company of others, and as she found herself in the company and presence of others, they were met with the fragrant aroma that flowed from her being.

CARRYING THE AROMA OF WORSHIP WHEREVER YOU GO! I can’t help but be captured and caught up in the incredible and tremendous reality that even though Mary took this pound of very costly and fragrant perfume which she poured out upon the feet of Jesus and carried the scent of that perfume with her when she left the presence of Jesus. I can’t help but be reminded of the encounter which Moses had atop the mountain of God in the wilderness, and how Moses was atop the mountain for forty days and forty nights in the presence of the living God who had delivered the children of Israel out of their slavery in Egypt, and had completely and utterly decimated and destroyed the Egyptian land and the army of Pharaoh. Scripture records that when Moses came down from the mountain his face shone and radiated with the imprint of the glory of God which had been so absorbed by his physical being. Scripture reveals and declares that when Moses finally did come down from the mountain his face shine with the radiance of the glory of God, as the presence and glory of God would be manifested upon his physical being. What’s more, is that Scripture reveals how when Moses was in the company and presence of the children of Israel he needed to cover his face with a veil so as to not blind them with the radiance of the glory of God which reflected off him. When, however, he returned into the presence of God he would remove the veil and speak freely in the presence of the living God without the need of a veil. This is actually quite interesting to think about and consider, for just as Moses left the presence of God reflecting and radiating His glory and presence before the children of Israel, so also it is incredibly possible that Mary left the presence of Jesus carrying the fragrant aroma and scent of her own expression of worship. There is not a doubt in my mind that when Mary left the presence of Jesus on this particular night she left carrying the fragrance of her expression of love in her hair. What’s more, is that I would even dare say that Mary carried with her the fragrant scent and aroma as she departed from the house, and perhaps even carried the fragrant aroma with her within the house itself. I can’t help but but wonder how once her expression of love through worship was over and as she perhaps chose to sit at the table, or sit elsewhere in the house, she didn’t also reflect and radiate the fragrant aroma of the encounter at the feet of Jesus as she anointed his feet with a very costly and precious ointment and perfume. I can’t help but think about and consider within my heart and mind how it is very likely that when Mary was finished anointing the feet of Jesus with the fragrant perfume and wiping them with her hair, she carried with her the fragrant aroma of that encounter with her the rest of the night, and perhaps even for a day or more. Pause for a moment and think about and consider the fact that it’s quite possible that the fragrant aroma which undoubtedly filled the house on this particular night would be carried with and carried by Mary as she left the feet of Jesus, as she sat down in the house, and perhaps even as she left the house that night and journeyed elsewhere. In all reality, I can’t help but wonder how long Mary carried with her the scent and fragrant aroma of this expression of love through worship in the presence of Jesus before it ultimately and finally wore off. How long did Mary carry within her hair the aroma and fragrance of the intimate expression of worship in the presence of Jesus, and how many others did Mary encounter who were met with the scent and aroma which flowed forth from her being after the encounter she had at the feet of Jesus.

What I find to be so incredibly intriguing about that which is written in the opening verses of the twelfth chapter of the gospel of John, as well as that which is found in the opening verses of the thirteenth chapter is that both chapters begin and open up with an expression of love at the feet of another. In the case of Mary and the twelfth chapter we find the expression of love taking place at the feet of Jesus as Mary anointed His feet with a very costly and fragrant ointment and perfume. In the case of Jesus in the thirteenth chapter of the same gospel we find a different expression of love taking place—an expression of love not put on display at the feet of Jesus, nor even in the presence of Jesus, but rather an expression of love which was manifested within the life of Jesus the Christ at the feet of the disciples. While in the twelfth chapter of the gospel of John we find an expression of love through worship taking place in the presence of Jesus at His feet, we find a completely different expression of love being manifested and displayed in the thirteenth chapter. It’s in the thirteenth chapter of the gospel of John where we find a secondary expression of love taking place at the feet of others—this time, however, it was an expression of love at the feet of others rather than at the feet of Jesus. It’s one thing to display and manifest an expression of love at the feet of Jesus, however, it is something else altogether to put on display an expression of love in the company of others. It is something else altogether to manifest and put on display an expression of love—not at the feet of Jesus with fragrant perfume, but rather in the presence of others with nothing more than a basin of water and a towel. It’s quite astonishing and remarkable to think about and consider how in the case of Mary we find the expression of love in the pouring out of a fragrant perfume, while in the case of Jesus we find the expression of love in the laying aside of garments, and in the taking up of a towel. I can’t help but be drawn to the awesome and incredible reality that there is an expression of love which includes and is demonstrated and manifested through the pouring out of that which is costly, and that which is fragrant, however, there is an expression of love that is not demonstrated in the pouring out, but rather in the laying aside of garments and taking up the towel. EXPRESSIONS OF LOVE: LAYING ASIDE AND POURING OUT! I sit here this morning and I can’t help but be absolutely and completely captivated with and by the fact that within the twelfth and thirteenth chapters of the New Testament gospel of John we find two different expressions of love—one which is displayed at the feet of Jesus and includes the act of pouring out, and the other which is displayed at the feet of others and includes the laying aside. In all reality, I would dare say that true expressions of love—both through worship in the presence of Jesus, as well as service in the presence of others—involves the act of laying aside, as well as the act of pouring out. We cannot, we dare not, and must not think about and consider this display of expression of love merely in terms of pouring out at the feet of Jesus and not also in the laying aside in the company and presence of others.

As I sit here this morning I can’t help but be drawn to the incredible reality that there seems to be a dichotomy and disparity that exists within the hearts and lives of many men and women within Christian circles in this generation. What I mean by this statement is that there are those among us who might very well be comfortable with putting on display their expression of love at the feet of Jesus as they pour out that which might have cost them everything, and yet those same individuals have absolutely no desire laying aside their own garments in order that they might put on a different display and expression of love in the company and presence of others. There are men and women who might very well have absolutely no problem with pouring out fragrant and costly perfume and ointment in the presence of Jesus and at His feet, and yet when it comes to laying aside their garments—when it comes to laying aside their own self-interest, when it comes to laying aside their own self-absorption—they have absolutely no desire or inclination to do so. Such individuals find it incredibly difficult to lay aside the garments of pride, the garments of arrogance, the garments of self in order that they might put on full display an expression of love in the service of others. Such individuals find it incredibly difficult to lay aside their garments in order that they might take up the towel and wash the feet of others. These individuals have absolutely no problem with kneeling and bowing down before and at the feet of Jesus and anointing His feet with that which cost them everything, however, when it comes to kneeling and bowing down at the feet of others in order that they might wash their feet, they have absolutely zero interest and zero desire in doing so. Oh please don’t miss the awesome and incredible significance of this reality, for it is without a doubt a reality that there are men and women who might very well be comfortable at the feet of Jesus in worship, and yet they are absolutely uncomfortable at the feet of others in service and humility. Such individuals have absolutely no issue or problem with humbling themselves in the presence of Jesus and kneeling at His feet that they might put on display a wonderful expression of love through worship, however, they find it incredibly difficult—perhaps even somewhat impossible to kneel at the feet of others in order that they might humble themselves in their presence. Pause for a moment and consider the reality of your own life and how comfortable you are at the feet of Jesus the Christ verses how comfortable you are at the feet of others—not only just those who will love and receive you, but also those who might very well betray you. One thing I find to be absolutely captivating about what is found and contained within the thirteenth chapter of the gospel written by the apostle John is that when Jesus laid aside His garments, took up the towel, girded Himself with the towel, filled a basin with water and began washing the feet of the disciples, He not only washed the feet of those who would abandon and forsake Him, but He also washed the feet of one who would deny Him, and one who would betray Him. Pause for a moment and consider the incredible reality that although Jesus would wash the feet of those whom He called friends, He would wash the feet of the one who would deny Him, and the feet of one who would deny Him.

There is something that is absolutely and completely gripping my heart and spirit right now—namely, that when Jesus laid aside His garments, took up the towel, filled a basin with water, and not only washed the feet of the disciples, but also dried them with the towel, not only did He wash the feet of His friends, but He washed the feet of that one who would betray Him. Scripture is quite clear that Jesus knew from the beginning who believed in Him, and who did not believe in Him, as well as who would betray Him. Scripture is very clear that Jesus knew that one who would betray Him, and even made the declaration that He had chosen them, and yet one of them was a devil. Oh, please don’t miss and lose sight of this tremendous and incredible reality, for it has the incredible ability to dramatically alter how we perceive and think about Jesus’ act of washing the feet of Jesus. It is true that Jesus washed the feet of the disciples, but it is also true that Jesus would wash the feet of those who would forsake Him, that one who would deny Him, and that one who would betray Him. When we think about and consider the reality of laying aside our garments in order that we might take up the towel and wash the feet of others we must understand and come face to face with the reality that we aren’t simply called to wash the feet of our friends and those whom we trust and have relationship with. When Jesus finished washing the feet of the disciples, and when He had again taken up His garments, and began speaking unto the disciples He emphatically declared unto them just as He had washed their feet, so also they are to wash the feet of others. Perhaps one of the most intriguing realities that is found within the gospels in the New Testament is that there is no distinction between friends and enemies when it comes to the love we display and manifest in the company and presence of others. If you read the gospels you will find that Jesus never drew a dividing line between loving our enemies and loving our neighbors and commanded us to love our neighbors and our enemies the same. There was not a different love that was instructed and commanded for our enemies, and a different love that was commanded for our neighbors. We would like to think and even consider the fact that there is a different and separate type of love that was commanded and instructed for our neighbors, and one that was instructed and commanded for our enemies, and yet the truth of the matter is that this simply isn’t the case. Despite how many times we might try and convinced ourselves otherwise, and convince ourselves that we are somehow to love our neighbors differently than we love our neighbors—the truth of the matter is that this simply isn’t the case. Nowhere in the gospels will you find Jesus instructing us to love our neighbors one way, and loving our enemies a different way. Jesus instructed and commanded us to love our neighbors and our enemies with the same fervent and intense love. Consider if you will the words which are written and recorded within the New Testament gospel of Matthew and were spoken by Jesus the Christ:

“Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: but I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh of thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He maketh the sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? Do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:38-48).

I can’t help but also be reminded of the words which the apostle Paul wrote in the epistle which he wrote unto the saints which were in Rome. If you turn and direct your attention to the twelfth chapter of the New Testament epistle which was written unto the saints which were at Rome you will find the following words written concerning loving others and humbling yourself in the company and presence of others. If you begin reading with and from the ninth verse of the twelfth chapter you will find the following words which were written and recorded by the apostle Paul unto these saints within the most powerful city in the known world at that time. Consider if you will the words which the apostle Paul wrote unto these saints beginning with the ninth verse:

“Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing I stand in prayer; distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourself, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:9-21). D

When we attempt to carry on a discussion about washing the feet of others it is absolutely necessary and imperative to think about and consider the awesome and incredible reality that there is no distinction between washing the feet of our neighbors and washing the feet of our enemies. Jesus never instructed, nor did He ever command us to wash the feet of our neighbors and not also wash the feet of our enemies. Later on on this particular night Jesus would emphatically declare unto the disciples that He no longer called them servants, but called them friends, for a servant knows not what their Master does. It was true that there in the upper room Jesus washed the feet of His friends, however, Jesus didn’t speak these words until after Judas had departed from the house and had departed from that upper room. Thus, there seems to be the strong connotation and suggestion that there in the upper room—not only did Jesus wash the feet of His friends, but He also washed the feet of one who would become an enemy and betray Him. We cannot and must not miss this absolutely incredible reality, for when Jesus put on display an expression of love through the washing of the feet of others, He drew no distinction between neighbors and enemies, nor did He draw any distinction between friends and enemies. Jesus washed the feet of Judas the same way He washed the feet of Simon also called Peter, as well as James and John who was the apostle Jesus loved. There within the upper room Jesus laid aside His garments, took up the towel with which to gird Himself, and not only washed the feet of the disciples with water, but also dried them with the towel with which He was girded. How absolutely wonderful and incredible it is to think about and consider the reality that not only did Jesus lay aside His garments that He might wash the feet of those who were His friends, but He also laid aside His garments in order that He might wash the feet of one who would become His enemy and would even betray Him. Oh that we would come face to face with this awesome and incredible reality, for when we speak about washing the feet of others we tend to think that we are called and instructed to wash the feet of our neighbors and those who love us. The truth of the matter, however, is that this simply isn’t the case, for we are called to wash the feet of our neighbors and those who love us just as much as we are called to wash the feet of our enemies and those who would do evil unto and even persecute us. Jesus never drew any distinction between washing the feet of our neighbors and somehow abstaining and refraining from washing the feet of our enemies. Search the four gospels, and even the New Testament writings of the New Testament authors and you will not find a single time any instruction or command to abstain from washing the feet of others, nor abstaining from serving the needs of those whom we encounter on a continual and daily basis. The sooner we come to terms with, and the sooner we recognize this reality within our lives the sooner we will be able to do that which Jesus the Christ has commanded and instructed us in this life.

As I sit here this morning and consider the words which we find in the thirteenth chapter of the New Testament gospel of John, as well as the words which we find in the twelfth chapter of the same gospel, I can’t help but be gripped with the reality that just as much as we should feel comfortable at the feet of Jesus and anointing His feet with the fragrant aroma of our worship, so also we must feel comfortable at the feet of others as we wash their feet. There is absolutely no distinction between anointing the feet of Jesus and washing the feet of others—despite the fact that we would think to somehow draw a dividing line between the two realities. There would be those among us who would think to somehow draw a dividing line between anointing the feet of Jesus in worship and washing the feet of others in service, and yet the truth of the matter is that we should be just as comfortable at the feet of others as we are at the feet of Jesus. I would even dare say that there is not distinction between the feet of Jesus and the feet of others, as both require us to lay aside our own sense of pride in order that we might humble ourselves. Jesus laid aside His garments and girded Himself with a towel that He might wash the feet of the disciples, and in like manner we are called to lay aside our garments of pride, our garments of self absorption and our garments of self preservation in order that we might was the feet of others. Just as surely as we have been called to anoint the feet of Jesus in worship, so also we have been called to wash the feet of others in service and even in worship. Yes, I did speak of laying aside our garments in order that we might wash the feet of others in worship, for I am convinced that our washing the feet of others is just as much an act of worship as anointing the feet of Jesus with that which cost us everything or that which cost us much. The question we must ask ourselves is whether or not we are ready, willing and able to lay aside our garments and “let down our hair” so to speak in order that we might not only anoint the feet of Jesus in worship, but also wash the feet of others in worship. Are we willing to lay aside the garments of our own self interest and the garments of our own self absorption that we might wash the feet of others in service and worship? Even more than this is the question of whether or not we are willing to lay aside our garments of self interest and self absorption that we might not only wash the feet of our neighbors, but also wash the feet of our enemies. You will notice in this same chapter that only a few short verses later Judas would not only leave the presence of Jesus, but would also leave the company of the disciples, and would leave the upper room in order that he might put into motion the events to betray Jesus into the hands of His enemies and adversaries. Please don’t miss this, for Judas was still in the upper room when Jesus washed the feet of the disciples, which means that Jesus did in fact wash his feet there in the upper room. Oh, we might be willing to some degree to wash the feet of our neighbors and even to wash the feet of our friends, but are we willing to wash the feet of our enemies and those who would betray us? How we answer this question can and will dramatically alter and shape the way we think, and even the way we interact with others in this life. Oh that we would not only be those who are willing to lay aside our garments that we might wash the feet of our neighbors and friends, but also that we might lay aside our garments that we might wash the feet of our enemies and those who would betray us, do evil unto us, persecute us, and even do us harm.

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