John 13:3-17

Our devotions this Lenten season have been written by members of Faith Lutheran Church.  Today’s devotion is by Tessa Holmes.  Also, if you would like to join our staff in praying the liturgy for Responsive Prayer/Suffrages just click here.


Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus answered, “You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “One who has bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet, but is entirely clean. And you are clean, though not all of you.” For he knew who was to betray him; for this reason he said, “Not all of you are clean.” After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them. John 13:3-17


Everyone washes their feet every day and does not give a second thought to it. In this passage from John 13 Jesus shows that even a Lord as mighty as himself can wash the feet of disciples. John was written to show the word of God and in this book proves he is real. Jesus knew all along of Peter’s imminent betrayal and yet insisted on washing the feet of the disciples.


Peter himself even tried to argue against the cleaning and then proceeded to ask for his hands and head to be washed too. Jesus explained himself to Peter and to the group and left them with a lasting impression of the way we ought to carry ourselves in life. This humble attitude that Jesus portrayed was so that he could show his disciples how to act when he is no longer physically there.


The selfless, servant-like attitude is easily illustrated and often forgotten but, “very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master”. The scripture was written to teach us about Jesus’ amazing love, forgiveness,

and understanding towards everyone.


Let us pray:  Lord, we thank you for giving us your guidance of washing other peoples’ feet. Enable us to be servants in your world and help us to touch the lives of others with your love.  In your name we pray, Amen.


One Response to “John 13:3-17”

  1. Steve Leeman Says:

    Great. Thank you.

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