Our Savior Washes Feet
Open Your Bible
John 13:1-35, 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
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.