[Thanks to Pastor Carey Pratt who provided the basis for this blog.]
In John 13, we have the interesting story of Jesus’ washing the disciple’s feet. The background is that it was the custom for those hosting a dinner to see that the guests feet were washed before the meal. Remember that people wore sandals not shoes as this time and their feet could become very dirty from walking the unpaved roads of Jesus’ day. It was the
responsibility to see that a slave (or servant) washed the guests feet but for some reason there was none present.
No one, except Jesus, wanted to assume the responsibility of serving others. After Jesus washed their feet he said, “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” The example Jesus spoke of was not the act of washing feet but an example of responsibility to serve others.
Not less than twenty-four hours, we find another person using a basin. But this time, it is not the basin of responsibility but to wash his hands FROM his responsibility. Pilate tried to release Jesus but the mob would not allow that. So, “When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!” He had the responsibility to see justice was carried out.
From these two accounts, that appears only two options for the true Christ-follower. Take up the basin of responsibility or refuse the responsibility of serving others.