For a moment, let your imagination go a little wild.
You have received an invitation to have dinner at the White House. Other than the date and time there is no other information.
So, dressed in your Sunday best, you arrive at the White House and are escorted into the Presidential dining room where a small table awaits.
There is only one chair and one setting on the table.
Your escort holds the chair out for you and you timidly take a seat. He quietly leaves you alone in the room.
A door opens and the President comes out with a platter of food and drink that he sets at your place. He smiles and asks if it is satisfactory and if there is anything else he can bring you.
Surprising? Perhaps even weird because in your view of the world what just happened should not have happened. The leader of the greatest country on earth just served you dinner.
I believe the surprise and feelings that this imaginary story brings up is what the disciples must have felt when Jesus knelt down to wash their feet. Washing feet was the task of the lowliest servant in any household.
The disciples had spent the last three years with Jesus. They had walked with him, ate with him and slept alongside him.
They had listened to his words. They had watched the many miracles he performed to heal the sick and even raise the dead. They even saw him walk on water and calm a storm.
By this time they believed he was the Messiah, the Son of God, even if they did not fully understand what that meant.
So when Jesus knelt down to wash their feet, taking the position of the lowliest servant, they had to be astonished, surprised beyond measure.
Then he gave them a command that is also for us as Christ followers:
12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. (John 13:12-15)