27 It is He who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose.” 28 These things were done in Bethabara beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
It’s very interesting the language that John uses when talking about Jesus. He speaks about sandals and not being worthy to even unloose them. It’s such a simple statement but one that clearly gets the message across. In the same way that regular people couldn’t look at the face of a king or stand in his presence without being called, not even being worthy to serve at his feet becomes a powerful statement.
What I really like about this statement however is what happens later on in the gospels. What John said was absolutely true. None of us are truly worthy to stand in God’s presence. None of us deserve even being close to him and yet he came down to us. Jesus lowered himself to our level and even more, Philippians says he lowered himself even more to us in death.
But let’s go back to John’s statement now. I find it amazing that he was not worthy to loose Jesus sandals and yet Jesus at the end of his life took off his clothes, took a basin of water and began to wash the disciple’s feet. What an amazing extreme in the other direction. It’s an even more powerful statement to how far Jesus is willing to go and lower himself for our salvation.
Next week we will be participating in the foot washing ceremony. In it we will copy what Jesus did all those years ago. We do so because he told us to do as he did. In this act we also show how far we are willing to go in helping our brothers and sisters in being saved. We too should be willing to be servants one to another.
I can only imagine what John would have said if he saw Jesus washing the disciples feet. I wonder if he would understand what Jesus was doing. We know the disciples didn’t- at least not yet. It would have been an amazing thing to see.
Let us all try and find the spirit of Christ in us. May we work at having the same character of our Savior and Lord.
Pr. Steven Couto