John 13:1-17 (NIV)

1 It was just before the Passover Feast.1 Jesus knew that the time had come2 for him to leave this world and go to the Father.3 Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.a 2 The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus.4 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power,5 and that he had come from God6 and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist.7 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet,8 drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

7 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”9 8 “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
9 “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”
10 Jesus answered, “A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean,10 though not every one of you.”11 11 For he knew who was going to betray him,12 and that was why he said not every one was clean. 12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them.
13 “You call me ‘Teacher’13 and ‘Lord,’14 and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.15 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.16 16 I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master,17 nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.18

John 13:14 (NIV)

14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.1                            

DEVOTION – Brad Richardson (Georgia)

Recently, I realized that what keeps me spiritually grounded is serving other people.  When I face tough times in my own life or when I have more questions than answers, I want to “take up a towel” as Jesus demonstrated in John 13.  Jesus was facing crucifixion.  But instead of taking up arms or calling 12 legions of angels (see Matt. 26:53),  Jesus wrapped a towel around his waist and started washing his disciples’ feet.

When we face trials, it’s easy to focus on only our own problems.  While we wait on the Lord to answer our prayers or while we search for answers, we often become impatient and ask God when, why, or how?  Instead, we could simply search for opportunities to serve and bless others.  When we take on a “towel mentality” and humble ourselves, we become the hands and feet of Christ.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Whom can I serve as Christ’s hands and feet today?

PRAYER: Dear God, develop in us a servant’s heart.  Help us to be sensitive to the many ways we can serve others at home, work, school, and church.  Amen.