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The Washing
John 13:1-17

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The WashingJohn 13:1-17
00:00 / 09:53

You are gathered with Jesus and your friends in an upper room, waiting to eat the Passover meal together. As you wait, your mind is flooded with memories of these past three years together. You have seen amazing things on your journey together: blind people receiving sight, crippled people leaping to their feet, you have even seen some people brought back to life after dying! On more than one occasion you have felt God’s power moving within you as you prayed for people and then saw them healed and delivered from demons. What do you feel as you remember all this?


You are all reclining alongside a low table that is being filled now with food by the servants. Look around the room for a moment. What do you notice about the room? What is everyone around you doing? What is everyone talking about? How close are you to Jesus? What do you notice about him?


Suddenly, Jesus gets up from the table and moves toward the door. He takes off his outer cloak, picks up the basin of water used for washing feet, pours water into it and ties a towel around his waist. The room grows silent as people begin to notice what Jesus is doing. Everyone is watching intently. What do you whisper to your friends as you see this? The house servants are supposed to wash feet. What is Jesus doing? How do you feel as you watch him?


He crosses to the far side of the room, leans down by one of your friends, and begins to wash their feet. The room is silent but for the gentle splashing of the water in the basin. How does your friend respond? What are the others doing?

Jesus finishes and moves to the next person. He does not move quickly. He is slow and deliberate. He takes each foot and washes it, looking up into people’s faces. Jesus moves around the table from person to person. As you imagine Jesus approaching you, you may want to take off your shoes and socks to make yourself ready to receive him.


Jesus now comes to you. How are you positioned when Jesus stops in front of you? How do you picture Jesus? What does he say as he touches your feet? How do you respond?


If you find yourself resisting, pay attention to what you are feeling. Can you tell him what you’re feeling? What do you want to say to Jesus? How does he respond to you?


As Jesus dries off your feet, is there anything more you would like to say to him?


“When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place.

“Do you understand what I have done for you?” Jesus says.

“Now that I have washed your feet, you should wash one another’s feet.”

Photo: Danie Franco on Unsplash
Music: Through Darkness by Brock Hewitt on
Sound Effects: "Bathing in Bathtub" courtesy

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