He stood up.
The meal was over, he had momentarily lost interest in the somewhat heated conversation. The earthen bowl was warm against his hands. He lifted it and scooped in three measures of clean water. He placed it, now heavier, back on the floor.
The argument at the end of the table continued as he slipped off his outer robe and deposited it on a low stool. A hush fell on the seated men as he walked to the end of the table, towel draped around his waist.
He knelt in front of Nathaniel, who was speechless. There was audible shock in the silent room. He took Nathaniel’s right foot and dunked it in the water. Particles of dirt floated to the surface. He cleaned the foot, scrubbing between the toes, then patted the foot dry with the coarse towel. He moved from one man to the next, repeating his actions.
Peter held up a hand, his face flushed. “You will NEVER wash my feet!”
On his knees, he paused and smiled up at the ruddy fisherman. “If I don’t wash your feet, you are not part of me”
He continued calmly, twenty-four feet to wash. There was an eagerness in the room for this awkwardness to be over.
He was at the end of the table, almost finished, wiping Judas’ feet. The disciples face was taut, tormented, indecisive, guilty. The Master’s eyes radiated nothing but love for this lost sheep.
He sat at the table again. They waited expectantly.
“Do you understand what I just did?”
“You call me Master, rightly, because I AM. I set an example for you of an upside-down kingdom. I want you to serve each other this way. You’ll be happy when you do, and that’s a promise.”