A Servant’s Heart

John 13:12-14 WEB

So when he had washed their feet, put his outer garment back on, and sat down again, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? [13] You call me, ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord.’ You say so correctly, for so I am. [14] If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.


Washing feet was a servant’s task. Religious and civic leaders did not wash their own feet. A servant washed their feet when they gathered. So, it was almost an offense to the 12 for Jesus to wash their feet. When he is done washing their feet, he puts his outer wrap back on and tells them to go and do likewise. This was probably an offense as well. The 12 thought they were going to rule the 12 tribes of Israel in eternity (Mt 19:28). It would not have been natural for them to take up feet washing. But that is what Jesus asked them to do. During Jesus’ ministry, he showed the example of servanthood. He was on a mission for His Father, and it required humility and service. Jesus did not mind.

Jesus wants us, his disciples, to feel the same way. We are to be mission-minded as we become servants to one another. Things are not so different today. When people imagine themselves having a large ministry, it is not natural to think about feet washing. But that is what Christians are called to do. We must bow our hearts before the Father in humility and willingness to serve as He served. That may mean washing feet, or it may mean taking that poor family to the food bank. There are many ways to serve.

Jesus served. He was the disciples’ Lord and Teacher. He is also our Lord and Teacher. We must not look at Jesus and say, “He was God, of course he could.” We must not use his Godhood as an excuse not to imitate Him. Rather we must say to ourselves, “the Lord and Teacher served both the lost and the saved. I must also serve.” When we serve, we are opening avenues to plead with others to be reconciled to God through Jesus. To the lost, that is salvation from eternity without God. To believers, it is encouragement in the Lord as we refresh one another.


Lord, please give me a heart for service. Help me recognize opportunities throughout my day to serve. Help me lay down my own interests and care for another’s interests. Help me trust you with myself and with others. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Daily Forgiveness

John 13:6-10 WEB

Then he came to Simon Peter. He said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” [7] Jesus answered him, “You don’t know what I am doing now, but you will understand later.” [8] Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I don’t wash you, you have no part with me.” [9] Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!” [10] Jesus said to him, “Someone who has bathed only needs to have his feet washed, but is completely clean. You are clean, but not all of you.”


In the Bible, we read that all people have sinned (1 John 1:8). Moreover, it says anyone who denies they have sinned is a liar. So, to those of us who have made Jesus our Lord and Savior, we need to repent daily. We are saved out of the world but we live in the world and we trudge through the muck and mire of the world. Therefore Jesus needs to wash our spiritual feet daily with his forgiveness. The above passage says we are already clean but we still need daily forgiveness.

We still need the dust and briars cleaned off our feet. As we walk with the Lord, we do so on the stage of the world. Thus, during our walk, our spiritual feet get dirty. This can be hard for Christians to face. We recognize with our heads the Bible says all have sinned, even those in Christ. However, seeing our own sin can be difficult. We need moments where we have insight into our own selves. We must look in the mirror of self and see the area shrouded in darkness.

When we can see our sin, we are being honest with ourselves. It may make us feel inferior to others to admit we have sinned. In the world, we are taught not to let others see our weaknesses. But in Christianity, we are praised for our weakness because it gives place to God’s strength. In the above passage, Peter wanted no part of Jesus washing his feet. Yet the Lord told him it was necessary for him to be completely clean, so he complied.


Lord, please help me evaluate my spiritual health accurately. Reveal sin to me and wash me clean with your forgiveness. Help me grow in Christian maturity and repent of the sins you show me. Give me the courage to accept your correction. Help me face the truth. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Humility Amid Greatness

John 13:1,3-5 WEB

Now before the feast of the Passover, Jesus, knowing that his time had come that he would depart from this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. [3] Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he came from God, and was going to God, [4] arose from supper, and laid aside his outer garments. He took a towel, and wrapped a towel around his waist. [5] Then he poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.


Jesus knew he was going to die. The Father had come to him with Moses and Elijah and encouraged him regarding the upcoming events (Mt 17:1-9). So, Jesus knew. Yet, despite the personal trial he was experiencing, he did not stop and start focusing on himself. He did not seek pity or attention. Nor did he seek praise for his willingness and surrender. Instead, Jesus wrapped a towel around his waist and washed the disciples’ feet (John 13:1-17).

During Jesus’ time on earth, feet washing was a courtesy. It was bestowed upon guests when they went into another’s home (Luke 7:37-38). Thus, the Lord was treating the disciples like his own guests. It was Jesus’ final Passover and he spent the time ministering to his disciples. At the same time, Jesus’ need was great. Only a short time later do we find him praying for deliverance from the upcoming events (Mt 26:39). Yet in all these things Jesus humbled himself in the sight of the Father.

If anyone has ever had bragging rights it was Jesus. He was the only begotten son of God (John 3:16). He was also a miracle worker (Mt 8:23-27). He could feed thousands with mere scraps (John 6:1-15) and his following was growing. He had something to boast about. Yet he didn’t. He never felt entitled. Rather he humbled himself in the sight of God and the disciples. He showed us how to act amid greatness.


Lord, please help me grow in humility. Take boasting out of my mouth and help me become a servant to others. Thank you for interceding on my behalf, Lord. Help me behave more like You. In Jesus’ name, amen.