Jesus washes feet

Illustration by LaTonya Jackson.

John 13:1-15

Jesus knew that he was going to die while he was in Jerusalem. As he thought about leaving this world, he was reminded how much he loved his disciples. He would love them until the very end.

So that night during dinner with his disciples, Jesus got up from the table. He took off his outer robe and tied a towel around his waist. He poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel. The disciples looked back and forth. Why was he doing this? This was a servant’s job.

Jesus knelt before Simon Peter, who said, “Lord, are you really going to wash my feet?”

Jesus nodded, saying, “Right now you don’t understand what I am doing, but later you will.”

Peter resisted. “You will never wash my feet,” he said.

“I must wash your feet for you to belong to me,” Jesus replied.

Now Peter understood. “Then wash my feet and hands and head!” he said eagerly.

But Jesus said, “A person who has bathed does not need to be washed again, except for the feet. You are clean, although not everyone at this table is.” Jesus said this because he knew that Judas was going to betray him.

After washing everyone’s feet, he put on his robe and came back to the table. “Do you understand what I have done?” Jesus asked. “You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right. That is what I am. I have set an example for you as your teacher. I have washed your feet. Now do as I have done and wash each other’s feet.”

This story and art are from The Peace Table: A Storybook Bible, co-published by Brethren Press and MennoMedia as part of the Shine curriculum. Used with permission.

(Read this issue of eBrethren.)

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