A Reflection on Jesus Washing The Feet of His Disciples

Scripture: “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash another’s feet.” – John 13:14

When Jesus washes his disciples feet, he sets out an example of how we are to serve others. This may be counter-intuitive because we so often see those in power commanding others to serve them because they are in charge. Certainly someone needs to be in charge for others to follow. But leaders worthy of being followed earn the right to lead others. The leadership that Jesus models is first and foremost founded on love. He didn’t call the disciples because of how good and perfect they were. Jesus didn’t wash the disciples feet because of their worthiness. He washed their feet out of love, deserved and undeserved. That is grace – unmerited favor. Jesus washed Judas Iscariot’s feet, even though he knew that he was just about to betray him and cause him to suffer and die on the cross. To be more like Jesus in our lives means giving love to others even when it is not deserved.

To serve others we must be secure in who we are. It’s about understanding Jesus mindset of service. He had to humble himself to stoop down to the feet of others, and perform that task of a servant, for their benefit. If we are too worried about our status and our titles, if everything is all about us, we are totally missing the point. We don’t serve others so that we can advance in our status and title, we do it for the benefit and advancement of God’s kingdom. We serve others around us because God has put them in our lives to add-value and enrich their lives.

In modeling what Jesus did in washing his disciples feet, we see Jesus seize the moment and take action. He saw a need and met it. He didn’t wait around for someone else to do it. He didn’t think about how he should not have to do it because it was not his job. He didn’t see that it was beneath him. He knew who he was, and whose he was. He was clear on his purpose. This allowed him to be present in the moment, to be clear in thought, and open to loving and serving others. It allowed Him to seize the opportunity and take action.

I can’t help but think about how Jesus saw and seized the moment. What moved him to do everything that he did? How were His teachings so different and so profound? The closer I get to Jesus and God our Father, the more this becomes clear to me. God will direct our steps. Jesus maintained an eternal perspective and kept his focus on what needed to be done. Time and time again, this allowed him to do what was right in God’s eyes. He relied on the will of the Father, rather than those all around Him. It allowed him to cut through the noise all around Him.

A few scriptures that give us confidence in God directing our steps, and guiding even the words from our lips:
• “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” – (Proverbs 3:5,6)
• “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.” – (Proverbs 16:9)
• “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.” Psalm 32:8
• “The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way;” – (Psalm
• “The Holy Spirit will give you the words to say at the moment when you need them.” – (Luke 12:12)

These scriptures and many, many others help give me peace in knowing that God has got our backs. Our primary objective is to focus on Him, and to listen for guidance, and to take action while following His direction. When we seek God, and walk in His ways, we can be sure that He is always right there at our side, as he has promised. We can count on God to provide the words that we need, and the guidance that we need. We can have peace and joy experiencing God’s favor and supernatural power that far exceeds anything that we could ever dream or imagine. We can have assurance in who we are, and whose we are, so that we can serve others who God brings into our care at home, at work, and in our day to day. Serving others is loving others, deserved and undeserved, because that is what God calls us to do. All we need to do is follow Jesus, and his lead.

Dear heavenly Father, thank you for your Word this morning. Let it fill us and refresh us throughout the day. Help us to seek you first, not only in the morning, but in all our interactions, decisions, conversations. Keep us from sin and the attacks of the enemy. Help us to see you right there beside us, in the car, in the meeting, at the dinner table, while walking “alone” in the woods, at all times and in all places. Let our lives be worthy of your sacrifice. We give you all the honor and glory in Jesus mighty name. Amen.


Image courtesy of: themissy

Photo By mayrpamintuan

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