Read: John 13:1-17

Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet . . . (v. 5)

Years ago, a group from our church traveled to Uganda. They visited the home of an esteemed elder in one of the villages, a man who was sick and dying. Suddenly this dying man got down on his knees, took water and a cloth, and proceeded to wash the feet of every person in the group. It was a powerful spiritual experience to have this revered elder, so weak and frail, stoop down to scrub their feet clean. One member of our group exclaimed, “It should have been us who washed his feet!”

When Jesus stooped down to wash his disciples’ feet before the festival of Passover, Peter at first protested. To wash another person’s feet was the humblest and most menial of tasks—a task fit for a slave. Yet it was a physical demonstration of Jesus’ whole life and ministry: the Lord of the universe descending, assuming flesh, and offering his life in service. He came not to be served, but to serve (Mark 10:45). He bent low to clean us up.

This physical act pointed to the spiritual reality of a messiah who would turn the world’s understanding of power and authority upside down: a king who serves as a slave. Jesus calls us to embody our faith with the same pattern: to stoop down, take up the basin and the towel, and get our hands dirty by serving others. —Brian Keepers

As you pray, ask God to give you an opportunity to physically serve others today.