Take the Basin and the Towel


What is your task as a teacher? The responsibilities you bear may seem overwhelming, but Gerald reminds us that our purpose is to humbly apply our learning and effort to serving the church.

“Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded” (John 13:3-5 NKJV).

Everyone in the upper room knew that he was the greatest among them. He was a great teacher. We don’t lord our knowledge over others. Knowledge puffs up, wisdom serves.

Instead of thinking about the 45 things you should do or you should put into practice and wonder how you’ll ever get this done to begin with, let’s consider who you are, what you’re becoming. What is your posture? What is your stance? How can you use “several things that I’ve heard to serve my church by washing the feet of my students?”

Serving our churches by serving our students, though, is not for the faint of heart. I’ve heard stories of basins and towels coming out when the going gets tough. I’ve seen the basins and the towels come out when I see the smile on the face, ready to get into school.

The education of a child rests on the people around him and over him. That means that you matter. Your life is an open book read by your students; “Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men” (2 Corinthians 3:2 KJV).

Jesus poured out his lifeblood for you and for me. He asks us to do the same, not to burn us out in extraordinary and heroic measures and too much time spent, but rather, stooping low to wash the feet of the first grader with the little owie, to wash the feet of the adopted girl who’s acting out as she processes the fact that her birth mother didn’t want her. Stooping low to wash the feet of the junior-high boy who seems, on the surface, to not care about school, but is actually crying for someone to come alongside him and pay attention. Stooping low to wash the feet of that high school girl who’s heading into bad decisions because of her crush on an immature 11-th grade boy.

The call to us is not to heroically be this perfect teacher, but rather to be a good teacher who sits at the feet of Jesus, the teacher whose feet are washed with the towel and basin of Jesus himself. Because Jesus did that, we can stoop low with the towel and basin and wash our students’ feet.

As we stoop ourselves, let us recognize we are serving our community, the church. The glorious church of Jesus Christ grows when we take a basin and a towel.

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