The Lowliest of Jobs


John 13:4-5, 13-15
4So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, 5and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him.
13You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am.14And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet.15I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.


With dirt roads and sandals for footwear, people’s feet would get really dirty as they went about their day. In most places, there would be a basin of water inside the door so that people could wash off their feet when they came in. In nicer homes, there might be somebody who would wash your feet for you.

There certainly wasn’t a lot of honor or prestige in being a foot washer. It was the lowliest of jobs. So imagine the disciples’ horror when Jesus got up from the dinner table and started washing their feet!

Afterwards, Jesus told them that he had set an example for them—and for us. We are to serve others. Often times, serving others isn’t easy, convenient, or pleasant. But if the Son of God was willing to wash people’s dirty, stinky feet, what job are we justified in not doing for someone else?

Every day, we are presented with opportunities to serve. We often pass up these opportunities, saying it’s too hard, we’re too busy, or we just don’t like that person. But would these excuses wash with Jesus? Probably not.


Think of some ways in which you can serve others. Write down these ideas and continue to reflect on them. Then, in prayer, ask God to help you think of others more than yourself and to help you become the servant that Jesus would want you to be.


If today’s devotion spoke to you in a particular way and you feel led to share your thoughts with others, please do so.