The Highest Love in the Lowest Act

Study Guide

In this moment, Jesus astonishes his disciples in an act that is both defining and transformative. By washing their feet, he paints a picture of the gospel and creates a paradigm for them to live by. When we deplete ourselves to serve others, something changes in us, and God blesses us.
Jesus is clear that those who follow him are called to serve others in ways that are painful, tiring, expensive, inconvenient, and even humiliating. Take some time to pray, reflect on these examples, and ask God to show you how to be faithful in this area.
  • Teach someone a life skill.

  • Care for people in a difficult season.

  • Help disciple someone who is struggling with sin.

  • Learn how not to fight—how to be willing to lose.

  • Learn how to forgive—to absorb the weight of someone else’s sin and move forward.

Tell someone in your spiritual community how you believe God is directing you to move.
Key Points
  • Jesus’ definition of love is different from our culture. He is with us, he tells us the truth, and he sacrifices himself for us.

  • In washing the disciples’ feet, Jesus symbolizes the truth that he will wash away our sin, take it on himself, and make us clean with his holiness.

  • Jesus takes on the posture and practice of a slave—even to Judas, who will reject and betray him.

  • As Americans, giving up what we view as our rights for the good of others is countercultural. Independence is deeply embedded in our souls.

  • Those who follow Jesus’ example in living like slaves will be blessed by God.

Scripture: John 13:1-17