Washing Feet, Scrubbing Toilets, and Other Jobs We Should Seek

September 11, 2012

There are times when I feel like I am too good to do a job. I’m sure I am not the only one. We don’t like to admit this, especially in the Christian community, because we like for people to view us as humble. When it comes right down to it though, there are jobs that we look at and think, “No way will I ever do that! I am not going to lower myself to that level.”

The jobs are different for everyone:

Fast food worker

Stay at home mom

Trash collector


Meter Reader

Or any number of different jobs (Disclaimer: I am not saying these jobs are of least importance, these are just ones that I have heard people say they would never like to do).

In Jesus’ day there were jobs like the ones I listed. They had to be done but nobody wanted to do them. In John 13 we read about one of these jobs.

Jesus and the 12 have gathered together for the Last Supper but nobody has washed their feet. You see, back in this day, there was a servant who would wash the feet of those coming into the house. The roads were dirt and everybody wore sandals, so when traveling, their feet got really dirty and needed to be cleaned off (we just have people kick their shoes off before entering the house).

For whatever reason this didn’t happen, so Jesus gets down and starts washing away. The disciples were completely baffled! This was a job for the lowest of servants, yet the man they have been following for 3 years, their “leader”, was down washing their feet!

At the end of it all Jesus told his disciples, “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s.”

As Christians we have really loved this example. At church camps, youth group times, or retreats, there are often times when we bring people forward and we wash their feet to show how we are lowering ourselves and serving them. Honestly, it’s a great object lesson.

Except it doesn’t mean what it used to. There was a speaker at NYR (Nationwide Youth Roundup) one year who said he keeps a toilet bowl scrubber in his office because that is the current job he considers most like the feet washing of Jesus’ day.

What Jesus was trying to get us to see is that we should actually “consider others better than ourselves” (Philippians 2:3, yes Paul said it here, but this is what Jesus was teaching). This considering of others is more than just something we say, but we actually need to do it!

As Christians, we need to take jobs to serve others. We need to not think, “I deserve better than this! I can’t believe I am the one to have to do this job!” We should rejoice over the opportunity to serve someone else and in that service, provide an opportunity to see Christ in our lives.

This week, find a job that nobody wants to do, and get it done. Do it so that you can serve someone, not for the praise you may receive.

Do it because Christ died on the cross for you and never thought, “I deserve better than this! I can’t believe I am the one to have to do this job!”

What are some jobs that nobody wants to do, but would create an opportunity to shine Christ into someone’s life?


One Response to “Washing Feet, Scrubbing Toilets, and Other Jobs We Should Seek”

  1. […] Washing Feet, Scrubbing Toilets, and Other Jobs We Should Seek […]

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