Day 6: Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet

Read John 13:1-17

It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean. When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place.

“Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.


During the first-century, men wore opened-toed shoes as they walked down dirt roads. It was common for a slave to wash the feet of guests when they entered a home because most of the time they had dirty, sweaty feet. It was unusually profound in that day and age for the Rabbi or teacher, as Jesus was to His disciples, to wash the guests’ feet. Why would Jesus take on the chore of a slave and wash His disciples feet? Jesus is role modeling, for all of us who are followers of Christ, to be humble, servant leaders in all circumstances. He even tells us in verse 15 that He has set an example for us. You see this again in Mark 10:45, “Even as the Son of God, he didn’t come to be served, but to serve, and give his life as a ransom for many.” Martin Luther King, Jr., spoke on servant leadership in this way, “Not everybody can be famous. But everybody can be great, because greatness is determined by service. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You don’t have to know about Plato or Aristotle to serve. You don’t have to know Einstein’s theory of relativity to serve. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love.” Do you want to be more like Jesus and take steps on the road to be a servant leader? If so, spend time asking Jesus, “Who do you want me to serve today? How should I serve? What should be the attitude of my heart when I serve?” Maybe you serve dutifully, because you have to, and God is calling you to serve from a heart of love and compassion.

Jesus is role modeling, for all of us who are followers of Christ, to be humble, servant leaders in all circumstances.


Look for opportunities today to serve someone and set an example for others as Jesus did for us. Maybe you can even wash someone’s feet. If you are married, what would happen if you washed your spouse’s feet and prayed for him/her while doing so? It would probably break down barriers and begin to create a new atmosphere of love and humility in your home. Newbreak’s mission statement is: Connecting people with God, through authentic relationships, to serve communities. Newbreak takes serving others seriously because we want to be servant-leaders like Jesus. One way we do this is by serving communities locally and globally.

Example: A possibility for you to serve could be to get involved with serving the community through Newbreak’s many service projects. These are all meaningful ways to serve that impact and change lives right here in San Diego. To find out more information click on the button below!