This week, our family read John 13. Jesus was celebrating the Passover meal with His disciples. As the evening was beginning, Jesus took off his cloak and began to wash the feet of His disciples.
When we read the story of Jesus washing the feet of His disciples, it is easy to focus on the act of service. Jesus gives a wonderful example of what it means to lead by serving. In verse 15, He even points out the need for the disciples to serve in this way.
But there is another perspective to look at here. As Jesus makes His way through the 12 disciples, He comes to Peter. Peter makes it clear that Jesus should not be washing his feet. Peter has a clear understanding of his relationship to Jesus. It just shouldn’t happen that way. Jesus was GREATER than Peter, and he knew it.
However, this was more than just a courtesy of good hygiene. Jesus was showing a small glimpse of what He was doing in the World. There is nothing more humbling than God, the creator of the universe, being born, and dying for us. Just as Peter didn’t deserve a foot washing, we don’t deserve the salvation Jesus offers.
This is a story of how to be a servant leader. But, it is also a story of how we can graciously receive the undeserved.
Peter had to receive the undeserved gift of the foot washing. He could have continued to refuse it. In the same way, we need to graciously receive the undeserved gift Jesus offers.
As you talk through this story with your kids, ask:
- Have you ever been given something you didn’t deserve?
- How did that make you feel?
- How would you have responded if Jesus offered to wash your feet?
Then spend some time thanking Jesus for the gift YOU don’t deserve.