The Jesus Commercial That Has Super Bowl LVIII Fans In An Uproar

Super Bowl commercials are designed to provoke discussion, though most companies aim for a bit of watercooler chat about how funny, cool, or celebrity-packed their effort was. While a minute-long effort from the Servant Foundation's "He Gets Us" campaign has certainly ticked the discussion box (as it did during last year's Super Bowl spot), said discussion isn't exactly light-hearted and positive. The commercial features a slideshow of AI-generated images that feature political and ideological opposites coming together while a member of one side washes a member of the other's feet. It alludes to an act that took place following The Last Supper, in which Jesus washed the feet of his followers to show his humility.

Select scenes include a police officer washing the feet of an African American man, a preppy girl washing the feet of someone with a punk rock aesthetic, and an anti-abortion protestor washing the feet of a young woman outside an abortion clinic. In light of that, it's not surprising that people have taken to the internet to express some rather strong feelings about the whole thing. The commercial then finishes with the words "Jesus didn't teach hate. He washed feet," presumably for those who didn't understand the message being conveyed.

The commercial has caused a backlash

As the commercial covers numerous controversial subjects, including religion, immigration, abortion, race relations, police brutality, poverty, climate change, and free speech, to name but a few — it has caused a little bit of a stir online. Several comments on X (formerly Twitter) in particular suggest disapproval with the ad and its message.

User Sovereign Brah accepts that Jesus washed people's feet, but also highlights that he called sinners to repent. The X user then goes on to infer that, rather than spreading peace and love, the commercial is somehow giving a thumbs up to sinning in general. A user who goes by the name William Wolfe shares a similar opinion while adding that Jesus also ate with sinners. Actor Kevin Sorbo also piled in with the words "Jesus doesn't affirm Sin."

Several users also state that Jesus washed his disciple's feet, and not a random cross-section of people from modern-day society. However, it is worth noting that such a line of thought may miss an important message that The Gospel was trying to convey.

Where does the idea of Jesus washing feet come from?

If we're taking the word of all four gospels, Jesus washed the feet of all 12 of his disciples following The Last Supper. It's a passage that demonstrates his humility and is deeply symbolic in many ways. Amongst the 12 disciples is Judas Iscariot, who would betray Jesus shortly afterward. Jesus washes his feet all the same. He then goes on to say, "If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet," essentially giving the practice as much significance as the Eucharist. "Maundy Thursday," which traditionally involves the symbolic washing of people's feet, is still practiced amongst many Christian sects including Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians, Mennonites, and Catholics.

In terms of symbolism, the act achieves a few things. Washing people's feet, in some households of the time, was an act that was performed by servants. Despite being the Son of God, Messiah, and possessing a litany of other titles, the act physically demonstrated that Jesus was ultimately there to serve. It also demonstrates Jesus' personal humility. Given the significance of Maundy Thursday and Jesus' command for his followers to repeat the action amongst each other, it's safe to say that the actions in He Gets Us' commercial fit with The Bible's teachings.