Wash Their Feet

Ready "Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 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. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” John 13:3-7

What happens when we get asked a question we are not prepared to answer? If you are anything like me, one of two things happen. The first option could be your heart beats rapidly and you blabber incoherently for a few seconds in an effort to form an answer. The other option is to pause, take a deep breath, and calmly say what is on your heart. By the Lord's grace, I experienced the latter recently.

While preparing for an upcoming presentation on Leadership and Career Development to a group of aspiring young athletic professionals, I was blindsided by a question in a conference call with the symposium leader.

The question was, "How would you describe your personal leadership style?" Taking the breathe and pause option, I responded, "I would say I am an aspiring servant leader. I am not where I want to be, but I am in a much better place than I used to be." As soon as I said it, I almost dropped the phone. It was one of those 'where did that come from?' moments for me, but I knew the answer. The Lord had put that answer in my heart, because Jesus was the ultimate servant leader.

As the verse today conveys, Jesus was less than 24 hours from dying on the cross for sins. What did he do at his last meal with his disciples? He began to wash their feet. For someone who had never committed a sin and was dying for ours, this was the epitome of the a selfless gift. It was not that Jesus could not sin. It was the fact that he did not sin and was going to die for ours. Washing their feet? We do not go to practices, games, business lunches or dinner parties and expect to have our feet washed. Jesus did this because he was not above anything for his disciples.

Whether it is through more service activities at church, being a better colleague or mentor at work, or being a better family member or friend in my personal life, the latest gift from God has been the ability for me to identify and aspire to have an attitude of gratitude. As a student-athlete, coach, or athletic staff member at any competitive level, when is the last time we were the recipient of a spiritual gift from a teammate or colleague? When is the last time we bestowed one to our peer group? It is not a rhetorical question, but rather it is a reflective one. The beauty is, with the Lord's example and guidance, we can start now!

I try to begin each morning by submitting that day to the Holy Spirit. Typically, I pray through my day, asking him to be in charge of all I will experience. I ask for his leadership when facing decisions, strength when facing temptations, and cleansing when I sin. Recently, I have been called to add to that prayer by asking Him to help me serve someone else that day.

It is an empowering request that He is happy to fulfill.

Go Lord, because of You, I have been saved by grace through faith. You not only make me better, physically, spiritually and emotionally, but You have put it in my heart to make others around me better also. Thank you, Lord, for that wonderful gift of paying it forward in your name.
  • Hebrews 12:28
  • 1 Corinthians 15:10
  • Ephesians 1: 16-18
Bible Reference: 
Hebrews 12