One that I wonder about is foot washing. In case you are not familiar with this here are the key verses.
(John 13:4-5 KJV) He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.You find reference to this custom all the way back to the days of Joseph in Egypt.
(Genesis 43:24 KJV) And the man brought the men into Joseph's house, and gave them water, and they washed their feet; and he gave their asses provender.It was a widely practiced custom that showed courtesy and hospitality. That is one side of this practice.
The other side was that it was the job of the lowest servant or slave in the house. It was disgusting to wash feet that had been walking the roads of the ancient Middle East. You knew you were the bottom of the pecking order if it was your job.
Jesus got up to wash the disciple’s feet. He was trying to teach them about humility and servanthood. It is a wonderful picture for the ancient world.
The image is distorted in our day. Washing someone’s feet does not have near the stigma it did in the old days. Taking a basin of warm water, kneeling on a nice carpet and handling a foot that has had a pedicure and has been encased in clean stockings somehow does not convey the level of servanthood that Jesus was teaching.
I think we should substitute toilet scrubbing. Admit it. Scrubbing the toilet is probably the bottom level job in a modern home. It can be gross. I think that if Jesus had been teaching this today He would have gone under the sink, pulled out the cleanser, rags and pumice stick and got to work.
If we would do that it would show true humility and servanthood.
I don’t expect it to happen soon.
homo unius libri