6 Implications From Jesus Washing Feet (and a story!)

foot-washingJohn 13:14: Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.

When Jesus took the role of a servant, washed his disciples’ feet, and then told them (and us) to wash other people’s feet, he called us to a humble life of sacrificial service. Here are 6 practical implications and/or applications followed by a story of one person obeys Jesus.

  1. There is no job beneath us. Since no one is greater than Jesus and Jesus did the lowest job, there is nothing that we are too important to do.
  2. Service isn’t done for the worthy or deserving. None of the disciples was worthy of Jesus’ service especially Judas who would soon betray him.
  3. Servants lay aside rights not demand them. Jesus had ultimate power (John 13:2) but didn’t use that power for himself.
  4. Servants know they are accepted by God and therefore aren’t trying to impress people (John 13:2).
  5. Service is largely unnoticed, unappreciated, and unthanked. If your service is contingent on others’ reaction, you will likely be disappointed.
  6. People who serve are often happier than those they don’t even when their life circumstances suggest that the opposite should be true. Jesus promised blessing in the service just like he promised blessing in giving (Acts 20:35).

Nik Wallenda is a Christian who has become the most-watched high wire artist and daredevil in the world. In 2012 Wallenda walked a tightrope across Niagara Falls. In 2013 Wallenda became the first person to high-wire walk across the Grand Canyon.

Wallenda knows that he will be tempted by pride, so after the huge crowds and the media fade away he engages in a simple spiritual discipline: he walks where the crowds have just stood and quietly picks up trash. Wallenda wrote in Balance: A Story of Faith, Family, and Life on the Line,

“My purpose is simply to help clean up after myself. The huge crowd left a great deal of trash behind, and I feel compelled to pitch in. Besides, after the inordinate amount of attention I sought and received, I need to keep myself grounded. Three hours of cleaning up debris is good for my soul. Humility does not come naturally to me. So if I have to force myself into situations that are humbling, so be it …. I know that I need to get down on my hands and knees like everyone else. I do it because it’s a way to keep from tripping. As a follower of Jesus, I see him washing the feet of others. I do it because if I don’t serve others I’ll be serving nothing but my ego.”

For more see last week’s sermon on John 13.

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