Jesus Washes the Disciples' Feet

Susan Medenblik Kooima

READ : John 13:1-20

Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet. (v. 5)

I have a confession to make: I sometimes find Scripture boring because its stories do not always seem that relevant to contemporary culture. Living in another country, however, sometimes shed new light on Bible stories for me.

For instance, before I moved to Nigeria, I always found it odd, even distasteful, that Jesus washed his disciples’ feet. However, one week of living there—wearing nothing but sandals on dirt-paved roads—showed me otherwise. My feet got dirtier in Nigeria than I had ever seen them before, and nothing felt better at the end of the day than washing away the grime.

It clicked with me then that Jesus could not have chosen a better way to show himself as a servant to his disciples than to wash their feet. Foot washing was a necessity in Jesus’ culture, but it is also such an intimate act that makes one feel so good. Jesus’ humbling himself to wash his disciples’ feet demonstrated perfectly how much he loved them.

Sometimes God uses new experiences and settings to help us see that the truths and stories of Scripture transcend time.


Dear Lord, illumine Scripture for us and show us the relevance of its stories to us. Help us to never find your Word boring. Amen.