Day 9

Our Savior Washes Feet

from the Because He Lives reading plan


John 13:1-35, 1 Corinthians 11:23-26

BY Claire Gibson

My mother sat in the passenger seat, and I was behind the wheel. My eyes glanced at the clock on the dash. Up ahead, a train inched along the track, cutting us off from the road we needed to take. People made reservations a month in advance to get a seat at this restaurant. I knew if we were too late, we’d lose our seats. I couldn’t wait any longer.

Whipping the car around, I turned onto a side road and tried to find my way to the restaurant by an alternate route. But as I veered to the left, I forgot to check my blind spot. A truck barreled into the back of my car with a loud crunch. We weren’t going fast. No one was hurt. But it was most definitely my fault. I was in such a rush to get to dinner that I put our lives in danger. Thirty minutes later, we made it to the restaurant, and the hostess didn’t even mention the fact that we were late.

When I feel the pinch of time, I rush. Jesus doesn’t.

While reading today’s passages, I was struck by how slow and purposeful Jesus is with His disciples in their final hours together before His arrest. From the beginning of John 13, we’re told Jesus knew it was the end. He knew exactly what was coming. He even knew that Judas would be the one to deliver the deadly kiss. And yet, He doesn’t get up and start rushing around. He doesn’t point fingers or hatch an escape plan. He doesn’t open the Scriptures and start teaching frantically. He doesn’t even complete a few extra miracles, just for good measure.

In less than twenty-four hours, Jesus would be hanging on a tree, yet He stops to fill a basin with water.

In this moment, Jesus had no agenda to complete before He died, other than to show His disciples love. Putting His own fear aside, He focused solely on the words, actions, and encouragement His brothers needed to hear before He departed. Jesus knelt, took foul-smelling feet in His hands, and wiped them completely clean. (We live in a culture that is dying of thirst for this kind of selfless, slow, real love.)

In His last meal on earth, Jesus is my example. He shows me that I do not need to rush. I do not need to check items off my bucket list. I don’t even have to leave the room to do His work. All I have to do is love the people at my particular table. He teaches me that loving well doesn’t always mean teaching—it also means doing. Love means washing feet. It means embracing the foul parts of life. It means listening attentively to my friends and breaking bread, being still, even when every instinct of my heart tells me to run because we’re running out of time.

There is no need to rush when God is in control. If my Lord and Savior rested in this truth and served in this way, then He will surely help me do the same (John 13:14–15). Regardless of what appears to be blocking my path or barreling toward me in this life, I can be still and rest in Him. I can speak kindly to those around me. I can serve right now, right where I am.

Dear Lord, give me the strength to fill basins.

Post Comments (51)

51 thoughts on "Our Savior Washes Feet"

  1. Courtney Hanke says:

    I have read and reread this passage trying to understand “but why wash their feet, what does that mean?” And now it finally clicked, the act of selflessness, the pure love, agápē love. This came at a great time for me as I took on responsibility to care for a young, single mother’s baby while she works. I felt frustration at her nativity regarding motherhood, but then the Lord showed me I have been called to serve and love all those I encounter and instead of being angry that she buckled in the carseat wrong, I can show her and encourage her to be the best mom she can be. I can model that love christ had even in the smallest ways

  2. Beth Hinson says:

    In the next three weeks I will graduate from undergrad, move to a new state, and begin grad school, Lord give me all the peace to know that you are in control of it all and to enjoy every moment in this new season you have given me!

  3. Mandy Harbison says:

    I needed this today! I’m in a time of transition in my life. My heart aches because my family dynamics are about to change. My son who has homeschooled his whole life is about to graduate. I feel that rush to “perform a few extra miracles”’or “frantically teach some more scriptures.” BUT today’s reading and devotion opened my eyes to the only thing I need to do is to pour myself into filling his love basin! God bless all of you.

  4. Steph C says:

    The gift of being present. I just spent a long weekend on vacation with my husband. And, to my shame, I spent a lot of it taking pictures, looking up things on my phone, texting, and watching TV. Even when we ate meals, we didn’t really talk much. I wanted it to be a good weekend of talking and reconnecting. We did so many “things” but I feel like we missed so much. I need to be present with people. To show love to those who are part of my life. Not to see them as a means to an end. But to see them as my mission for today. As I start a 3 night stretch at work, please Father, help me love my patients and coworkers.

  5. Katherine Lopez says:

    I’m in a period of waiting… waiting (selfishly) for a time when my tiny children will not need me so constantly. (I know I’m going to miss it. I know. Lol) Holding a burden for ministry in my heart, taking one class at a time, and waiting to find out what God has in mind for it. I want to rush ahead and get busy in big, important things, but right now I need to learn how to wash feet. I need to learn that I desperately need Christ to wash my feet. I cannot serve well until I first humble myself to be served by Him.

  6. Kayla VC says:

    Amen! God help me to slow down and rest with you.

  7. Monica Davis says:

    Slow down and fill basins

  8. Ingrid Coutinho says:

    We live in a world that we constantly need to prove ourselves and physically do more. Yet Jesus shows us that sometimes less is more. Instead of making sure that the disciples knew his parables and made sure they understood all his teachings, jesus showed them an example of what it means to be a servant leader.

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