“Jesus is our tutor and example in all things, and nowhere is that more clear than in our prayer lives. It is no exaggeration to say that prayer undergirded and preceded and empowered everything that our Lord did while He walked on this earth. He frequently spoke about prayer and even more frequently taught by example.”

david jeremiah, prayer: The great adventure, p. 1.

Daily Devotionals: Ascent’s Mission – Loving God, Loving People and Impacting Our World. Each day’s devotional will guide us through a scriptural thought based on the mission God has called us to follow. 

We spent last week focusing on the first part of our mission, Loving God. We turn this week to the second part of our mission: Loving People.


Engage the Word: Loving People

Read John 13:1-15

Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” 10 Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.” 12 When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.

Connect the Heart

We can imagine the shock of the disciples as they saw their Master rise from supper, set aside His outer garments, pick up a basin of water and with a towel wrapped around his waist, begin to wash their feet. Such a menial task not even done by Jewish servants (primarily Gentile servants), and yet Jesus – the sovereign King of all Kings – loved His disciples by washing their feet.

Jesus knew that there was a competitive spirit in the hearts of His disciples. In fact, Luke 22:24–30 tells us that within a few minutes, they were arguing over which of them was the greatest. He gave them an unforgettable lesson in humility and love, as His actions were an unforgettable rebuke of their self-confident pride.

Jesus was King, yet He took the place of a servant. He had all things in His hands, yet He picked up a towel. He was Lord and Master, yet He served His followers. Jesus’ act of love is a display of true humility, growing out of an intimate relationship with the Father. May we experience the joy of following His example of loving others by serving them.

Reflect on the Truth

1. Here, Jesus equates loving people with a selfless act of serving them. Why is serving others often so difficult? What is it that often stands in the way of loving others in this way?

2. Washing someone’s feet is a very vulnerable act of love. Jesus’ example is an invitation into something deeper, beyond what we often allow ourselves to experience. How might God be prompting you to love someone in a selfless way?

Remain prayerful, keeping your eyes and ears open for opportunities God might bring your way.

    Depend on the Spirit

    Ask the Holy Spirit to help you see the deeper longings, desires or motives in your heart that these thoughts are pointing to. (For example: you may write down, “Jesus, I want to follow your example and love others the way you do. I’m not sure where to start, but I’m willing to take this first step.”) The Lord can help us discern the path forward – through His word, His Spirit, His people.


    For Prayer
    As you conclude your devotional time, pray for our Ethiopia missions team that departed yesterday as they travel to the other side of the world to serve the church in Debre Zeit and show Christ’s love to many who are connected with our global partership through the church, Compassion International and ROTOM (Reach One Touch One Ministries).

    Please read the first blog post entitled “Why Fast?” This explains what fasting is and why we follow Jesus in this spiritual discipline as together we seek the heart of God.


     Some parts of our 21 Days devotionals are adapted using various resources on scripture and prayer like The Bible Exposition Commentary, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries, The New Bible Commentary, Logos Bible Software and other resources.