FROM THE DESK OF THE ARCHBISHOP AND APOSTOLIC HEAD
His Grace Sir Dr. Godfrey Gregg
Jesus Washes the Disciple’s Feet
A blessed day to all my beloved in the Lord at home and abroad. I bless the Lord for all those in Authority over me and for those I serve as your Leader.
At the Last Supper, Jesus demonstrated his greatest act of servant leadership. He and his 12 disciples had just finished eating when Jesus, with only a towel wrapped around his waist, knelt down at the feet of each of them and washed their feet, drying them with the towel. This overwhelming gesture made a lasting impression on the disciples, not only because it expressed pure love, but by washing their feet, Jesus laid the foundation for true servant leadership; one that has become the model for Christians today.
In those days, all roads to Jerusalem and those within the city were dry and dusty. Since most travel consisted of walking, feet were often the dirtiest part of the body. Because it was considered a lowly task, the ritual of foot washing was usually performed by a household servant. On occasion, the host would wash a guest’s feet, but only if the guest was a close friend and of equal social status. But more commonly, water would be offered for guests to wash their own feet upon entering a home.
And yet, we read in John 13:13-15 that Jesus, the Teacher and Lord, washed his disciple’s feet, presenting a different side of the law than that of the Pharisees. “Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done unto you.” At that time, the Pharisees ruled the religious realm. They were known for their fine robes and extensive knowledge of the Scriptures. They were often seen on street corners, with their hands raised, praying in a loud voice for all to hear. They were quick to condemn even the smallest offender, while overlooking personal acts of injustice.
The Pharisees held the people in tremendous bondage to the law, careful that no unclean act was overlooked. They were appalled when they discovered that Jesus ate with sinners and tax collectors, and mingled with people who were diseased and demon possessed because they considered them extremely unclean. O, you Pharisee today in the Church that see the mote in thy brother’s eye and fail to see the BEAM in thine own eye. You are hypocrite and need to find salvation to the foot of the Cross this Good Friday. This is time to call sinners to the feast of Jesus and help a wandering soul find peace at the foot of the Cross.
The Pharisees believed their position of leadership, including how closely they followed the letter of the law, entitled them to all the rewards of heaven. Jesus demonstrated just the opposite. The Pharisees believed they were saved from the wrath of God when in fact they were incurring it. They overlooked the heart of the law: to love the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love their neighbor as themselves.
By example, Jesus was teaching his disciples that those who want to be great in God’s eyes allow themselves to be less in the eyes of man. A true servant leader offers to perform tasks no one else will do. To serve as Jesus did for the benefit of another show the deepest level of love and humility.
There is where I want us to reach on the plateau where Jesus stood in service to His Father. An example He was to us and so as faithful believers we must be examples to the people outside the palings of God’s Grace. This is our moment to shine and to be what God wants us in this hour. True servants, to the people of God. Let not your hearts be troubles, but pay attention to the authority in God’s word.
I love you and God bless you richly,