How To Wash Someone's Feet - Guidelines Devotional
March 17, 2021

How To Wash Someone’s Feet


The King will reply, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”  Matthew 25:40

In Jesus’ day, foot-washing was the custom because all of the roads were dirt, but it was a task that servants performed for important people. The disciples were uncomfortable when Jesus chose to serve them by washing their feet. Jesus explained that this humble act represented part of what it means to belong to Jesus. (John 13:8 NLT)

In most cultures, we no longer wash one another’s feet but we have opportunities to serve one another humbly. Today, foot washing might be translated into cleaning up after someone who is sick, preparing food for someone who is tired, or doing the shopping for an elderly neighbor or family member. “I have set you an example, that you should do as I have done…” Jesus explained (John 13:15).

The motivation behind serving others is also important. Jesus cared for His friends humbly because He loved them, not because He needed to be perceived as good or even to make Himself feel good. Serving goes beyond a particular act. It’s meant to be a complete lifestyle. Lifestyles are formed from patterns of living. A habit of serving leads us to “spring spontaneously to meet human need,” as Richard Foster explained.[1]

The next time you do something mundane or unglamorous for someone else, remember you are showing love as Christ does. “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant….the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve…” (Matthew 20:26, 28).

Resource reading: John 13:1-17.

[1] Foster, R. J. (1988). Celebration of discipline: The path to spiritual growth. San Francisco: Harper & Row.

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