Washing Jesus' Feet

In Luke 7, Jesus is invited to have a meal with a Pharisee. While Jesus is reclining at the table, a woman who is known in that city as a sinner came to Jesus, fell at his feet weeping and began to wash his feet with her tears. As she is weeping, she cleaned and dried Jesus’ feet with her hair and after they were clean, she kissed and anointed his feet with the perfume from her alabaster flask. It doesn’t seem to matter to her who was there watching, what mattered to her is that she seized the opportunity to serve Jesus in this capacity.

During this interaction, the Pharisee is sitting there watching this encounter happen inside his home and I can only imagine what is going through his mind: “Why is she here? Who let her in? Who does she think she is? Where did she get that expensive perfume?” The only thought we are given though is this, “If Jesus truly were a prophet, he would know who and what she is.” With his statement we know the true intention of the heart of this Pharisee, to disprove that Jesus is who he said he is. Later we read that Jesus says his feet were not washed upon entry to the house so we must conclude that the Pharisee had no intentions to serve Jesus in any genuine manner at all.

Self-reflection is a major part of how we are to read the Scriptures. The Bible wasn’t written to us, but for us so we must be in a constant state of self-reflection and self-application when we read it. This latest reading of Luke 7 made me realize this: the Pharisee thought he was an equal to Jesus, if not better than him. He didn’t say it out-right, but he showed it through his actions to judge the woman and not wash the feet of his guest. This makes me wonder how many of us truly believe we are less than Jesus. How many of us serve God with our words, but not our actions? I wonder when was the last time we fell to our knees and wept at the feet of Jesus because of our sins? When was the last time we saw someone pouring out their hearts to Jesus and we didn’t support them? When was the last time we saw someone give all they had to the Lord, and we said it’s not very much at all? In my reflection, I want to distance myself from the Pharisee so I must ask myself, “Since I’ve matured in my Christian faith, when was the last time I washed Jesus’ feet?

We spend a lot of time talking about being like Jesus, but not a lot of time remembering we aren’t him; we are the woman at his feet. As we go into this new week, I encourage us to remember we are sinners who should be weeping at the feet of Jesus, washing his feet with our hair, kissing his feet, and anointing them with what we hold most dear because nothing is more precious than him and what he has done for us. I encourage us to encourage others in their faith. We are only people and people are nothing without Jesus Christ and God’s grace. I believe we will find it’s easier to stand before others when we’ve been kneeling humbly before our Messiah. We just need to remember who we are.