Summary: John 13 Jesus washes His disciples feet

Serve Like Jesus

For nearly a decade, Mike Rowe hosted one of my favorite shows - Dirty Jobs. Remember any memorable episodes? Some were just about getting dirty, other times it was about things worse than dirt. Honey dipper, feeding pigs slop from Las Vegas hotels, bird vomitologist, guano collector, skull cleaner.

Mike says, “I’ve gotten stitched up three or four times. I’ve broken a rib, I’ve broken a toe, I’ve lost three fingernails. I’ve fused my contacts to my eyes with a blast furnace in Season One. Pulling pieces of plastic out of your eyes, bad deal. It was with a blacksmith. We were out in the field, the little thing looks like a toaster oven, but it’s actually a portable furnace. The shot I wanted was my eyes to the camera, I flick the switch, and you see the flames pop up. The gas accumulates, so the flames shot out, wrapped around my head and burned my eyebrows off.”

Teaching school or Painting houses is generally not considered too extreme of a dirty job, I have had a few scrapes with nastiness - want to hear about one?

What is the most unpleasant job you have ever tackled? What is the lowliest job in your home? Depending on where you live - and how much you have to spend, determines what you job out and what you do yourself.

What does all that have to do with Lent? Or with the Bible for that matter? Surprisingly, it has a lot to do with it. Today we will see Jesus do a Dirty Job episode in the scriptures that was every bit as appalling or shocking as any of the jobs Mike Rowe did. After all, the Lord of Heaven and Earth, the Maker of all mankind descends lower than anyone would imagine as he strips off his clothes and takes on the garb of the lowest slave in a household, so that he can wash his disciples feet.

Let me set the scene a bit for you.

John 13:1-17 It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.

2 The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus.

Imagine the room’s setting - atmosphere right now. At least 13 men are gathering around a table for dinner. Excitement is high around Passover season. Discussion and debates on scripture, current events and speculation about the future must have filled the air. Jesus had said and done some absolutely remarkable things in the past few days. He raised a dead man, stone cold 4 days dead man, back to life. He allowed a woman to anoint him - “for my burial!” Who anoints a living body for burial! Jason on Sunday talked about how when Jesus was at the peak of His game, following a triumphal procession into Jerusalem he is approached even by Gentiles who apparently want in on this Kingdom of God, but Jesus blows them off. Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it will never multiply.

What would they be saying, what questions would be on their minds - share

(allow the room to grow loud - before

As the disciples take their places around the low table, reclining on their left elbow with their legs bent so that their feet are behing them, yet still nearly in the face of the person seated to their right,


Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 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.

In Jesus’ day, a Master could have his disciples do any menial act except one, he could not require them to wash feet. That was sinking too low.

Now this is even more shocking to the disciples. Jesus is not asking them to wash feet - yet

He is showing them how to do it by doing it Himself.

6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Lord, are you going to wash my feet?"

7 Jesus replied, "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand."

When would they get it? When they saw his stripped body beaten by Roman soldiers? Or when they saw from a distance - his naked body hanging on a cross? Maybe it would be when He appeared to them in a locked uppper room, and showed them the wounds on his hands and feet. Or would it be days or months after Pentecost. When they found themselves pressed to the very edge of their endurance. When they were serving in the most trying times. The scripture doesn't tell us. It does tell us Peter’s response:

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