Jesus washes the disciples’ feet


John 13

Jesus Washes His Disciples’ Feet

1It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.[a]

2The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus. 3Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

6He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

7Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

8″No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”

9″Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”

10Jesus answered, “A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” 11For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.

12When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13″You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

There are few things in this life that are such great equalizers as the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.  The great and small, the rich and poor, the educated and the unschooled all find the same thing at the foot of the cross–forgiveness.

Jesus’ disciples had been with Him for three years, yet there was still so much they did not understand.  Foot washing was a normal practice in Jesus’ time, for the roads were dusty and the majority of travel was accomplished on foot.  However, the person washing the guests’ feet was usually a servant.  By Jesus performing this simple act He was trying to convey the servanthood part of Christianity.

Are you willing to perform the menial duties of servanthood?  And the greater question is, are you willing to allow yourself to be the object of service?  May God provide you with the desire to serve, and the ability to step back and let others serve you.


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