Since we have been studying the gospel of John for the Bible Bowl competition, I have had occasion to contemplate the act of Jesus washing the disciples feet (about once a week since we tried to read the entire book each week).
Why did Jesus wash their feet? Was it because they were not capable of washing their own feet? Could he do something in the washing that they could not do themselves?
Jesus tells the disciples that what he is doing is showing them an example of how they are to treat one another.
I think it is interesting that this passage also reveals that Jesus knew who was about to betray him and he washed his feet anyway.
Sometimes, I think we get caught up in looking around at who we can serve, at who deserves our service. We sign up at the nursing home to sing, and sign up at the homeless shelter to pass out sandwiches, and sign up to build houses for the homeless, and all of those things are worthwhile, but are we missing opportunities to serve those closest to us?
When I try to have dinner ready when my husband gets home from work, it isn't because he isn't capable of stopping at a fast food joint and getting his own dinner. He could even fix himself something to eat when he got home. For that matter, he could fix all of us dinner (and sometimes he does).
I do it, though, as an act of service. If I am a Christian, I am to be Christ-like, that is like Christ. I can be like Him by doing the things He did; serving those around me.
And boy howdy! Does my husband appreciate the serving I do! He often tells me that he praises me "at the city gates" because he knows there will be something good waiting for him when he gets home.
I'm not trying to say that serving your husband is better than serving the homeless or ministering to the elderly. I just wonder how many women are missing an opportunity to serve right in their own homes because they have their focus turned outward, away from home.