October 20, 2021

You Know It— Now Do It


John 13:1-17


When I was in high school at a small private Christian school, my New Testament teacher did something I’ll never forget. In a lesson about Jesus’ humility and servant leadership, we read the passage from John 13 where Jesus took off his robe, tied a towel around his waist, and washed his disciples’ dusty, dirty feet. The next thing I knew, our teacher had pulled a basin of water out from beneath his desk, knelt down on his knees and had each one of us take off our shoes. While we watched in amazement, he washed our feet.

It was incredibly embarrassing and touching and meaningful all at the same time. Suddenly I knew exactly how Peter felt when he exclaimed, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?!”

It seemed impossible to me as a 16-year-old that my teacher, a dignified and highly-respected man would kneel before a group of teenagers and perform this lowly act. Yet he did. 

In verse 17 from today’s reading, Jesus says, “If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.” There’s a big difference between knowing and doing. It’s easy to know that we should humbly serve others who need our help, yet, it’s often hard to perform the act of service when we’re busy with our own priorities. Yet Jesus says there’s blessing in doing it.


  • Think of a time when you served someone else in spite of the inconvenience. How were you blessed?
  • What can you do to be more sensitive to God’s nudges to serve others?


  • Discuss with your family ways your family can help other people. Is there a new family in your neighborhood who you could welcome with cookies? Maybe an elderly friend who would enjoy a visit or a handmade card? 


Jesus, you showed us how to serve others and then you challenged us to actually do what you taught us to do. Help us to be obedient to the nudges we receive every day. Amen.