Washing Feet

Read: John 13:1-20

So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. (v. 14 NRSV)

The image of Jesus riding into the City of David with the crowd waving palm branches and lauding him stands in stark contrast to the image of Jesus on his hands and knees, a basin of water by his side and a drying towel over his shoulder. The contrast is heightened by John placing the story of the triumphal entry next to the story of the foot washing in his Gospel. Jesus, who was just acknowledged as King, is now acting the part of the lowliest servant.

The contrasting images are much more than a window into the kind-heartedness of Christ. The footwashing narrative becomes for us a call: leadership in the kingdom of God means taking the lead in service. If you want to be great in the kingdom of God you must humble yourself for the sake of others. How Jesus was our Lord and Teacher cannot be separated from the wonderful truth that he is our Lord and Teacher. “So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.” The contrasting stories in the gospel show up as contrast in our lives too. To follow the way of Christ our King is to go the way of a servant and wash the feet of the world. Who can you serve today? —Jon Brown

As you pray, ask God to give you the courage to serve as he did.

About the Author

Jon Brown is the lead pastor of Pillar Church in Holland, MI. With his beloved wife, Kristyn, Jon is the proud father of 4 daughters: Lydia, Tabitha, Miriah, and Ava. He has been the keynote speaker at a number of events including, The Nicaraguan Pastors Conference of the Moravian Church, The Cascades Family Bible Camp, and many events at Hope College. He is a regular writer for the Words of Hope devotionals as well. Urging the church forward to participate in the mission of Christ in the world is where Jon finds the deepest joy and greatest sense of purpose.