“By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” – John 13:35
The word love here means so much more than the English language allows. It is the word agape and it means benevolence or kindness. It is a quality you display at all times towards another no matter the circumstances or how they treat you. It is God’s love. This love is not a feeling, it is a characteristic and quality you display toward your fellow man. It is how Jesus lived His life and even when they hung Him on the cross Jesus said, “Father forgive them”. (See Luke 23:34)
John thirteen is the chapter where Jesus is washing the disciples’ feet. When He finished, he got up and said that He was their teacher and if He did that to them, they needed to do that to others. In verse 15 Jesus says, “For I have given you an example that you should do as I have done to you.”
So, what is Jesus really saying and demonstrating to the boys here? That they need to go around and wash everyone’s feet? Think about what this meant at that time. This was the job of a lowly servant. But the King of kings humbled Himself and put them first rather than Himself. What an example!
Charles Spurgeon wrote, “In the world, they criticize; this is the business of the public press, and is very much the business of private circles. Hear how gossips say, ‘do you see that spot? What terrible walks that man must have had this morning; look at his feet! He has been very much in the mire you can see, for there are traces upon him’. That is the world’s way. Christ’s way is very different. He says nothing, He takes the basin and begins to wash away the stain. Do not judge and condemn, but seek the restoration and improvement of the erring.”
It is very easy to criticize others for how they live and their “dirty” lives. If we are Christ followers, they will know we are Christian by our agape. If we see the dirt, may we not point it out. May we be quiet, take up our basin of water and “wash the feet” of others.