Monday's Reading: John 13:1-20

It was a festive evening. You know that energy that you have when you are just arriving at a big event? Everyone was feeling it. They all knew that everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, was waiting to see what Jesus would do next. The disciples knew by this point that Jesus was, in fact, the Messiah. And they were with Him. They were in His inner circle. Now, they were about to share the Passover meal with Him, and as they walked in and found their spot at the table, each one of them walked past a basin and a towel. It was there for foot washing. Most people walked everywhere they went on dusty roads and dirt foot paths, so their feet were always grimy. Washing someone’s feet was considered the lowest job there was. As a matter of fact, Jews were not allowed to make a Jewish slave wash their feet. Only Gentile slaves could be made to wash someone’s feet. So, one by one, the disciples walked by the basin and took their seats. The meal began, but no slave had come forward to wash their feet. Perhaps they even wondered at this lack of hospitality.

Then, something unbelievable happened. Jesus got up. He walked over to the basin. He took off His outer garment, and He tied the towel around His waist. Jesus began to wash their feet.

As I consider this scene, I remember a breakfast that I had with an elder at Fellowship. Our waitress came to the table and I was ready to order quickly and return to our conversation. Like the disciples, I walked right by an opportunity to serve. But not the case with my friend. He sensed a deep hurt that I had looked right past and asked her if she was OK. With his gentle encouragement, she began to share her story. In the next few moments she cried, and he prayed for her. Before we left I saw him gently place money from his pocket in her hand and bless her. He, like his Master Jesus, had seen the opportunity to serve someone in need and done the work of ministering to her. I, like the disciples, had been too focused on what I was doing to even notice the opportunity the Lord had put before me.

This Passion Week, as we move toward the cross, let’s look for the basin and towel, and let’s be like our Master and get down on our knees and serve.

Further Study: Matthew 26:1-35; Mark 14:1-31; Luke 22:1-38

What It Means To Serve written by: 
Michael Smith, NWA Community Ministries Team Leader/Pastor

Family Devotional

This week we invite you and your family to take a trip with us. Place a suitcase/bag where it can be seen all week and each day we will add a new item to it. For parent introduction and a list of items to be gathered before you begin, visit Journey with Jesus.

Day 2: Journey with Jesus

Add to the suitcase: a wash cloth
Read: John 13:3-7
Process and discuss together:

  1. What does this tell us about Jesus?
  2. What does it tell us about ourselves?
  3. How should we follow Jesus today because of this scripture?
  4. Who could you tell this story to?
  5. Pray together.