I Can't Believe Jesus did It!..

by Oleg Kostyuk

After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. (John 13:5)

It is important to understand that washing someone else's feet in the time of Jesus was an unpleasant task and only slaves or servants were expected to do it. More than that in the household with the hierarchy of slaves only the very low status slaves would do it. And in households without slaves or servants, everyone washed their own feet.


Jesus’ example is striking!


Here is a modern day illustration that tells about the footwashing.


Alan Paton in his historical novel, Ah But Your Land Ls Beautiful, told the true story of a white South African judge named Jan Christiaan Oliver. A black pastor invited him to attend his church. It was in the time of apartheid. So, the judge would be risking his career if he went, but meaning to be a good man, he accepted the invitation. He learned on his arrival that it was a service of footwashing, and was urged to participate. He was called forward to wash the feet of a woman named Martha Fortuin, who as it happens, had been a servant in his own house for thirty years. Kneeling at her feet, he was struck by how weary they looked from so many years of serving him. Greatly moved, he held her feet with gentle hands and kissed them. Martha fell to weeping, as did many others in the room. The newspapers got word of it, and Oliver lost his political career. Alan Paton, the author of the book says that even though he lost his reputation, he found his soul![1]


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[1] Alan Paton, Ah, but Your Land Is Beautiful (New York, NY: Scribner Paperback Fiction, 1996), p. 234-235

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