God’s Word Goes Forth: Abide in God’s Love
John 13:1-20: In ancient Jewish society, it was the duty of the servant to wash his or her master’s feet. Jesus takes the job of a servant and washes his disciples’ feet. The foot washing is a symbol of his great act as a suffering servant, dying on the cross for the sins of the world. He also instructs his disciples on humility and charity.
Today's Scripture: John 13:14, 15
“I, your Lord and Teacher, have just washed your feet. You, then, should wash one another's feet. I have set an example for you, so that you will do just what I have done for you.”
1 It was now the day before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. He had always loved those in the world who were his own, and he loved them to the very end. 2 Jesus and his disciples were at supper. The Devil had already put into the heart of Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, the thought of betraying Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had given him complete power; he knew that he had come from God and was going to God. 4 So he rose from the table, took off his outer garment, and tied a towel around his waist. 5 Then he poured some water into a washbasin and began to wash the disciples' feet and dry them with the towel around his waist. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Are you going to wash my feet, Lord?” 7 Jesus answered him, “You do not understand now what I am doing, but you will understand later.” 8 Peter declared, “Never at any time will you wash my feet!” “If I do not wash your feet,” Jesus answered, “you will no longer be my disciple.” 9 Simon Peter answered, “Lord, do not wash only my feet, then! Wash my hands and head, too!” 10 Jesus said, “Those who have taken a bath are completely clean and do not have to wash themselves, except for their feet. All of you are clean—all except one. ” ( 11 Jesus already knew who was going to betray him; that is why he said, “All of you, except one, are clean.”) 12 After Jesus had washed their feet, he put his outer garment back on and returned to his place at the table. “Do you understand what I have just done to you?” he asked. 13 “You call me Teacher and Lord, and it is right that you do so, because that is what I am. 14 I, your Lord and Teacher, have just washed your feet. You, then, should wash one another's feet. 15 I have set an example for you, so that you will do just what I have done for you. 16 I am telling you the truth: no slaves are greater than their master, and no messengers are greater than the one who sent them. 17 Now that you know this truth, how happy you will be if you put it into practice! 18 I am not talking about all of you; I know those I have chosen. But the scripture must come true that says, “The man who shared my food turned against me.” 19 I tell you this now before it happens, so that when it does happen, you will believe that “I Am Who I Am.” 20 I am telling you the truth: whoever receives anyone I send receives me also; and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. ”
What do you think it was like for the disciples to have Jesus wash their feet? Could it have been a different experience from a household servant washing their feet? Have you ever had someone you admired perform an act of servanthood for you? What did it mean to you?
Jesus, you are both servant and savior, teaching me to live and serve humbly as I seek to follow you. Humble me that I may serve you by serving others. Amen.
All who serve others