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Devotional Day 6

Be Humble – Washing the Disciples’ Feet – John 13:1-17

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

I hate taking out the trash.  With a fiery burning passion.  

When my sister and I were kids, when it was my week to take out the trash, I switched with her so I could clean the kitchen instead.  Trash duty takes about, I don’t know, six minutes maybe.  Kitchen duty takes 15 minutes every night, but for me, it was totally worth it if I could avoid coming in contact with the trash.  

Trash duty meant seeing people’s trash –  knowing the contents of people’s medicine cabinets, the brand of shampoo they use and when they ran out, how much hair was stuck in their shower drain, and when the women in the house were susceptible to crying at sappy commercials.  

It grosses me out.  I know – first world problems for sure – but I have no problem doing other unglamorous chores.  Even now, I still hate collecting the trash in my house.  I love all the people who make that trash, but somehow, it still makes me want to do dishes instead.

I am blessed to say that every Wednesday morning before 6 a.m., my amazing husband takes the trash out to the street.  It makes me feel so taken care of – he does not like the trash either, but he does it because he knows just how deep my hate for trash really goes.  I think his gesture is downright romantic.

Trash is just so, well dirty.  And icky.  It takes humility and a willingness to put aside one’s pride (and sense of smell) long enough to serve the others in the house.

When Jesus washes the feet of His disciples, it is a revolutionary act of humility – but it was also gross.  Really gross.  It is not like the foot baths in nail salons with the massage feature, colored lights, and the soapy bubbles.  It is like 12 men spending days walking on dusty, filthy, unsanitary roads in thin sandals and then having their leader take the time to wash all the muck off of their hairy, dirty feet.

Dis – gus- ting.

Why did He do it?  Because their feet were dirty?  Well, sure, but it was so much more meaningful than that.  Please read John 13:1-17.

  • According to verse 1, what did Jesus know?

  • Why did He wash their feet (vs 14 and 15)?

  • What is the reward for such humility, according to verse 17?

  • Was Judas among those whose feet got washed by Jesus?  Why is this significant, in your opinion?

  • How does Jesus treat His followers in this section of Scripture?

I cannot imagine how humbling it must have been for this group of men, men who had seen Jesus heal the sick, drive out demons, feed thousands, raise the dead, give sight to the blind, cure leprosy, and calm the waters of the sea sit and allow Him to wash their feet – an act usually reserved for a paid servant.

I cannot imagine being Judas – already feeling tempted to betray Jesus and then having that same man wash the filth from my feet in an act of love.

I should keep this in mind the next time the trash needs to be taken out.  I should consider it an honor to follow the example and charge of Jesus to serve others in humility – my husband, my kids, and my neighbors,

  • What does this story tell us about the character of God?
  • What can you glean from how Jesus interacted with the Disciples to help you love and serve your spouse better?