April 14 (Maundy Thursday): He Washed Their Feet

April 14 (Maundy Thursday): He Washed Their Feet

Picture of Chris Rowekamp

Chris Rowekamp

“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.”
—John 13:5 NIV


Thursday of Holy Week, known as “Maundy Thursday,” was the decisive day on which Jesus was betrayed, arrested, and brought before the Jewish and Roman leaders to stand trial.

A few hours before those events, Jesus and his disciples came together to celebrate the feast of Unleavened Bread, their last meal together before the crucifixion.

In that “Last Supper” with his disciples, the Bible tells us that Jesus washed his disciples’ feet.

If you’re not familiar with ancient Jewish culture, that might sound like a very strange (and gross) thing to do because the practice of foot-washing no longer exists in western society.

But if we pay attention to Peter’s response (Jn 13:6-8), for the disciples the action of Jesus was not strange but scandalous. Only non-Jewish slaves cleaned the dirty feet of guests.

Jesus showed by his example something he had taught before: “The greatest among you must be a servant” (Mt. 23:11 NLT).

May we learn from Jesus’ example. When we choose to serve others, we not only give them value and dignity but also find a truly fulfilling life (Mt. 16:25).

Here is a simple prayer to carry with you today:

Inhale: Jesus,
Exhale: Teach me your ways.

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