[Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet] Then He poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. John 13:5
Recently, my son Zack was playing in a golf tournament and his wife Ashley traveled with him. So, I took care of their dogs. Three or four times a day I went by to let them out to exercise, eat, and do their business. These two dogs couldn’t be more different. Jango is a 145 lb. Great Dane. He’s a gentle giant. When he walks up to me his head is as high as my chest. Linus is a…..well we aren’t sure. He’s a mixture of who knows what, but it all adds up to about 8 lbs. and maybe 10 inches of height. We call Linus the escape artist dog because he can always find a way to get out of the backyard. Then it’s off to search the neighborhood for him, or it’s a neighbor knocking on the door bringing him home from wandering the streets.
So, one afternoon I went by to let them out in the backyard. I stood at the door and watched as Jango, the Dane, hiked a leg and did his business. That’s good because he’s big as a horse and it wouldn’t be pretty if he did it inside! Then little Linus did what dogs do. He went over and hiked his leg over where Jango had gone and he did his business! It was as if to say, “You may be bigger than me but I’ve still got something to say!” Jango was watching these goings on and obviously wasn’t very pleased. So then Jango walked over, hiked his leg over the top of Linus, and peed all over him!
That was it! Game, Set, Match! For two reasons really. One was, by this time both of them were out of ammunition. But the real reason was, “How could Linus top that?” He couldn’t. Now I had a mess. Linus obviously had to be washed off before he could come back into the house. So I gave him a quick bath beneath the water hydrant. When I had finished that task I had time to ask myself, “Why would Jango hike his leg and pee all over little Linus?” The answer was simple when it came to me. Because He could! He’s bigger, taller, and Linus couldn’t do anything about it. He did it simply because he could.
Isn’t it interesting, that kind of behavior isn’t only the way of dogs, it’s the way of people? Jesus often caught the disciples arguing over which one of them was going to be the greatest in the Kingdom. One time the mother of two of them even came to Jesus asking for Him to elevate her sons (James and John) to positions of power! Mama’s boys……
That precipitated Jesus gathering the disciples around Him and giving them these words, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20: 25-27)
Then on the night Jesus was arrested, and in less than 24 hours was to be crucified on a Cross, He took a towel and washed the disciples feet, thus demonstrating what He had told them. In so doing Jesus was saying, “Greatness isn’t demonstrated by peeing on someone’s head (even if you can) but in washing their feet.”
Think about that the next time you are tempted to “hike a leg” over someone else.
We have a million ways by which we pee on people’s heads don’t we? We ignore them. We look down upon them because they haven’t achieved our status in material things, education, career, or any number of things. We just hike our leg and pee all over them. Why? Because we can, just like Jango.
So remember, greatness is demonstrated by washing someone’s feet when you have the power to pee on their head.