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.

(58) Comments

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58 thoughts on "Our Savior Washes Feet"

  1. Brooke Junior says:

    Wow my heart needed this

  2. Sarah Minton says:

    Jesus help me love like you

  3. Sarah Durham says:

    What strikes me the most from this passage is that Jesus washed Judas’s feet. Judas, who had let fear and greed control his thoughts, letting satan in. Jesus deliberately, purposefully, washed his feet, even though troubled in his spirit, broken-hearted for one of his own, but also knowing scripture had to be fulfilled. He was submitting to his Fathers excruciatingly painful plan, but knowing he was going back to his Father, had hope.

  4. Lauren Whittinghill says:

    I needed to hear this today.

  5. Laura Carlton says:

    I need renewed “want to” to fill basins. Sad to post that comment on Easter weekend….considering the COST of CHRIST’S obedience to His calling and His FAITHFULNESS to me. Breathe on me breath of God…

  6. 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

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

    1. Adyley Gibson says:

      I just finished my homeschooling, and what you’ve just said reminds me of my mama. I never understood why it was so hard for a mom to let go of her child, I mean it’s what you raised them for isn’t it? I now realize that that is all wrong. Mothers pass their love down and show their children what Godly women and men are as well as all of the obedience, strength, faith and patience it takes to be a Loving and kind Christian. When Jesus washed his deciples feet he shows them so much love and kindness much like the kindness and love my mama pours into my heart and soul. Thank you for giving me an opportunity to understand how my mom is feeling.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

    1. Kelli Paskey says:

      Yes! Me too, Katherine!!

  11. Kayla VC says:

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

  12. Monica Davis says:

    Slow down and fill basins

  13. 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.

  14. Ashley P. says:

    Slowing down seems so challenging, but necessary, when my first instinct is to hurry to get things done. It makes me wonder—what will it be like for us in heaven, when we have all of eternity ahead of us, Jesus with us, and the stresses of this current life behind us? Will we finally be able to savor our days in peace, forevermore? Will rushing and striving cease?

  15. Ana Lisa Johnson says:

    This is so good. I always feel an inner tension to rush, that there isn’t enough time but there is so much to get done. Help me to rest in the fact that you are in control, God. Help me to take time to love others, instead of rushing past because I don’t have time.

  16. Lesley Gangwish says:

    Claire Gibson, thank you. Such a powerful focus for me in these verses. Slow down. There is a plan but life doesn’t have to be rushed, it will all come to pass. Solid. Thank you.

  17. Jen S. says:

    This devotional really spoke to me. I do think that I am always on the move for the next best thing. Sometimes I forget to stop and look around me and enjoy and be grateful for what I have and those who I have to share it with. I loved this reminder to slow down. Take it easy. Love those around you. Instead of focusing on what I can have next, focus on who I can help next and what is the next thing I can do for someone else. And be grateful for what I am surrounded by today.

  18. Tanya says:

    Such a great piece. Came at the perfect time for me.

  19. J C says:

    I am in awe of Jesus’ patience and the purposeful time he spent with his people. My nature is to hurry and rush… get things done… make things right. In my current struggle, though, God continues to tell me daily to BE STILL. This is so hard for me…. I want my relationship with the man i love to be reconciled and repaired today (ok, maybe yesterday). I want to fix it… talk to him and figure out how to make the repairs so we can move forward. Again, God tells me to BE STILL. Jesus knew his fate and yet he waited and worked with purpose….my goal is to do same. God knows my outcome and he can speak and move when i cannot. I need to trust this. God, help me to be still, waiting on you to guide this process of healing and repair.

    1. Jaime Lopez says:

      Praying for you!

      1. J C says:

        Thank you! Extra prayers are most certainly needed and appreciated. ❤️

  20. Carla HallBlanton says:

    This was exactly what I needed today. Too often I try to take control & rush to completely a task quickly and efficiently so that I can move on to the next task. I need to slow down and truly love well the people right in front of me.

  21. Alethea F says:

    Today I pray that the Lord helps me to serve others and not self. I want to be one who washes foul smelling feet out of love.

  22. Ana Love says:

    Dang – reading today’s passage my heart was breaking with what’s to come. I’ve been meditating and waking through this passion week putting myself on Jesus’ shoes. I feel my heart well up with fear of what’s to come. But I am so thankf and overjoyed by the sacrifice Jesus made.

    Lord teach me to be still – to sit in it and not rush.

  23. Gema says:

    This was so appropriate for me today. I feel my days are rushed, every day I’m running to get something done. God I want to be able to slow down, to spend time with you and just stand still even if it is only for a few minutes. May you allow me to slow down in your presence. I need you everyday. I need you in my day to day and in making decisions for my business. When it seems like I’m running out of time and decisions need to be made, allow me to rest in you and know that you are always in control. Amen!

  24. Rachel Peabody says:

    These words spoke directly to my heart. May we all slow down, be still and fill basins this blessed holy week.

  25. Pam K says:

    In this last year, I have been called on to serve my elderly Mom as her health declines. There have been so many lessons as I have had to go slow with her, sit by her side when I had a long to do list at home, and simply care for her. It is not my nature to move slow, yet how God has used it to shape me this year. I am so thankful for what I have received from the sweet time with my Mom.

    1. Lane Ciborowski says:

      This is so encouraging Pam!

  26. Trista Slowik says:

    Woah. I needed this today. I always say I am not afraid of growing older, but lately I’ve realized I am afraid of running out of time. Time to do all that I want to in this life, my bucket list, if you will. This felt so convicting. Im praying for Jesus to refocus my heart on His work here, now.

  27. Amanda says:

    It’s so easy to become fearful of time running out. Maybe we haven’t done what we want to do yet. The brevity of life becomes all too real when loved ones pass away. All the things we think are so important are so trivial in light of eternity. He called us to love others as he did – not hustle and grind and achieve. None of those things are bad, but at the end of the day, at the end of our earthly lives, obeying his command is what truly matters.

  28. Kenya says:

    It’s so easy to get caught up in the rush of life and not truly take the time to show love. We show it in a way that’s convenient for us – quick and painless. We say I love you like we are asking what’s on TV. We lose a sense of the purpose of love in the midst of the chaos and rush of life. I love Jesus example of focusing on what is important – to show true and lasting love to his disciples. This is so important, especially with the people at our own table. Another thing we lose in the rush is the true feeling of comfort from love. Simon Peter leaned into Jesus (literally), and wanted to feel his presence and love. He didn’t shove it off as just another thing – he never took it for granted. I pray to be able to give love like Jesus – the hard, messy, time consuming, raw type of love to those at my table. And I pray that as they love me back, I can lean into it. But mostly, that I can lean into the love of Jesus and feel his presence in every moment.

  29. Stacey Wilson says:

    Making this prayer my own, today. “Dear Lord, give me the strength to fill basins.”

  30. Holly says:

    I think about things not happening in my time constantly, rather than acknowledging the fact that things happen according to God’s timing, not mine. I needed this today (and probably every day).

    1. Brianna Hernandez says:

      I totally feel you. Recently I’ve started trying to rush relationships but this passage just confirmed to me I need to let go. <3

    2. Brianna Hernandez says:

      I totally feel you. Recently I’ve been trying to rush relationships and make things happen “before it’s too late” but this passage just confirmed I need to let go. <3 I know it’s hard.

  31. Jenn Batey says:

    Such a powerful blog today…slow, selfless, real love.

  32. Janice says:

    “There is no need to rush when God is in control”, this is perfect for me today as I get ready to move house & a million things crowd my mind on my to do list. I pray I take a deep breath and remember who is in control of all things, even moving house. Thank you Lord, Amen.

    1. Chelsea Baute says:

      Janice, I was just about to write the exact same post. My husband and I move this weekend and my brain feels like it is moving a million miles a minute. Reflecting on the fact that Jesus doesn’t rush was the perfect reminder during this season of change.

  33. Crislyn Petzoldt says:

    I too work in an environment that I am constantly working, helping, explaining, etc. to the point where I am frantic at the end of the day to get all of my work done. This passage has given me the understanding to be still, and serve those as Jesus would serve me. Care less of completing all of your work and rather focus on taking your time to complete.. less mistakes that way too I think! Double bonus!

  34. Aimee D says:


  35. Sara Moore says:

    Wow. I say all the time that I create my own chaos. By not being prepared and doing things when they should be done. Such as laying out clothes and packing lunches the night before. Then the morning becomes a frantic rush. Jesus has prepared his disciples well and his last days so there was no need to rush and he could just allow them the gift of time well spent with each other. I so badly need this reminder in my daily life. Thanks Jesus for this reminder today.

    1. Kaitlin SmithMattox says:

      Oh Sara! I am in the middle of learning this lesson RIGHT NOW. The days I prepare are so peaceful. What an amazing, purposed and peaceful moment before the storm for Jesus and His disciples. I am also finding that chaos shows my character flaws while preparedness proves my love. Blessings to come! Praying over you this morning.

  36. Rhiannon Poore says:

    Our most precious resource is time. With two small kids, a demanding job, and husband who is gone a lot, I can easily be selfish with my time. Or not fully present. I want to hoard my time and hold it close. But I think what Jesus is teaching us here is that time is never ours to begin with. V 3 – Jesus knew that the Father has put all things under his power and that he came from God and was returning TO God – SO then he got up and washed the disciples feet. This was his motivator and this is what centered Him. I pray that I would have the same centering values. ❤️

    1. Jaime Lopez says:


  37. Kristine Loughman says:

    Such a good word for me to hear today, as we race towards the end of another school year and I feel the rush to push, pull, drag us to the finish line. We teachers talk a good game about forming relationships and pouring into our kiddos, but when deadlines and report cards loom, I’m just as guilty as the rest of us about cracking the whip. What a great reminder of what really is important – slowing down and showing love. What a beautiful gift Jesus gave his guys – one last night to just love on them.

    1. Caitlin C says:

      Amen! I relate to this also as a teacher. Sometimes we get too caught up in the stress and the work that showing that slow love can be difficult. Lord help me to show that love everyday

  38. Churchmouse says:

    Jesus knew what was coming. He was on track with fulfilling His purpose on earth. He was leaving its continuance in the hands of His closest followers. Knowing what He was facing and those whom He was leaving, is it any wonder He chose to take His time to care deeply for each one? He lingered before each disciple, cradling their feet in His hands and looking into their eyes. What a tender moment. What a sign of His love and their intimate fellowship. He calls them to adopt this act, this attitude of service, so that they would be known for this selfsame love. May I look into His eyes – and then become His hands.

  39. Searching says:

    The first part of this verse really caught my attention this morning
    25 So he leaned back against Jesus …

    How amazing that must have been to physically lean on him. Going through a painful time of loss and seeking wisdom for this journey, trying to lean on him daily through the tears.

  40. Angie says:

    Be known for His love in the moments that make up each day.

    1. Pam S says:

      Meaningful words, Angie. ❤️

  41. Shawn Parks says:

    Water. As I meditate on this scripture, I am drawn to the key events in Jesus life that were linked in some way to water.
    His baptism-revealed his Sonship to God, his holiness
    Water into wine—his power
    Walking on water—his saving grace
    Woman at the well—his providence (He knows who we are and provides what we need.
    Washing the disciples feet—His servant heart and his great love for us
    I learn not only who he is, but who I am in Him. It is not a coincidence that “love one another as I have loved you” ends this portion of the text today. He came because of love and he showed us how to love. He is the life-changing living water. And at the end of his life on earth his last message is to use that same water, to bathe others in the love of Christ.

    1. Julie Ganucheau says:


  42. Tracy Hutchinson says:

    After reading today’s passages, I can’t help but think of the song about red letters and how the prison walls started falling. Sometimes these prisons we are in are self inflicted, I know many of mine certainly are. I have a job that requires me to love and serve people all day, but I am asking myself this morning if I am loving them and serving them like Jesus would. Am I washing their feet (figuratively)? This is something to carry with me today as I interact with each and every person. Thank you so much for this today.

  43. Tina says:

    I have few the disadvantaged and homeless in my community for over 10 years… I have seen changes in faces week in week out. There have been those that have stayed a while, until they find their feet, and those that have been coming for as long as I have been there and beyond, because for some of these this is the closest they get to family, and for others it’s a warm place and a place to be..

    These wonderful, colourful, ‘haven’t got it sewn up’, lost, in need of love and hope guys, my brothers and sisters in Christ, have changed me.. they have shaped the way I think, prioritise and live..
    I have been challenged. I have argued with God on occasion when convicted to do something that I am adamant serves no purpose, yeap, I have questioned God..agh..yet what do I know.. the outcome, when obedient to the nudge… I could sing of God love forever…

    But God..

    But God, as gently as calmly as Jesus in His last days, slowly and in stages shows me, teaches me, guides me and leads me to see that His love for me overflows, why waste it, Tina .. use it for MY Glory..give it out, share it..show it..show it.. show it.., not just in the confines of where you meet to eat , but outside too..
    This has been my journey so far.. by the grace of God.. by the overflowing love of God.. by the patience, calm and gentleness of God.. I am not there yet, I still mess up, but God oh But God… Thank God, I am not where I used to be..

    Washing feet, doesn’t always have to be literal.. Just getting into a life that could do with a little or a lot, of Jesus.. the good thing is you are never alone, the spirit guides and leads you, every time… every time..


    Happy Tuesday y’all. Praying God turn His face to shine on you and yours this Holy Week…hugs.. xxx

  44. Dana says: