Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. (John 13:3-5 NIV)
Jesus had taught his disciples that greatness in the kingdom of God was based, at least partially, on service to others in this life (Matt. 20:25-28). And here, as the end of his time with the disciples drew near, he demonstrated this concept of greatness by serving his disciples.
Jesus knew who he was and that the Father had put everything under his power. Jesus had greatness. And knowing that, he took on the role of a servant and washed his disciples’ feet.
And when Jesus had finished washing their feet, he made clear that he had set them an example (Jn. 13:12-17). An example that he expected them to follow. He was their Lord and teacher. And if he had done this for them, they should not consider it beneath them to do it as well.
Foot washing served a useful function in Jesus’ day. One that is no longer needed in much of the world. But the example Jesus set is still relevant. You are never too important to serve others, even in the lowliest ways. Serving others is the true path to greatness and blessing in the kingdom of God.