Sunday, January 20, 2013

Who Needs Their Feet Washed?

Thirteen walk into a room. Twenty-six dirty feet. Men who have walked the sandy roads to share a dinner. Only One reaches for the basin and towel. He kneels as the others stand in amazement. Why didn't they think to do that? I ask myself, "Would I have thought to do that?"

Can you see the room? Imagine being in line to have your feet washed by your Savior. This had to be one the most tender and humble of moments. To sit before Jesus, placing your feet in the basin, and having Him gently wash your dirt covered feet. I don't imagine there was a lot of talk in the room. I can however imagine a holy hush.

"He came to Simon Peter, who asked Him, "Lord, are You going to wash my feet?" Jesus replied, "If I don't wash you, you have no part with Me." Simon Peter said to Him, "Lord, not only my feet, but also my hands and my head." John 13:6-9

Peter did not realize he would soon deny Jesus. Deny ever knowing Him. Being a part of Him. But Jesus knew. Jesus washes the feet of Judas. The one who would soon give the silver away for His life. Thirty pieces of silver in a bag. The one holding the bag, a giver. One who was known for his charity. He would now be known as the betrayer. Jesus knew this whole time. Before they ever entered the room. Jesus knew.

"When Jesus had washed their feet and put on His robe, He reclined again and said to them, "Do you know what I have done for you?" You call Me Teacher and Lord. This is well said, for I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example that you also should do just as I have done for you." John 13:12-15

Jesus gives us a clear picture of love, forgiveness and humbleness in this room. The Savior should be having His feet washed, but He is doing the washing. Is there someone in your life that needs their feet washed? I have questioned myself this morning of this very thought. Forgiveness. Grace. Mercy. Love. I see hope in this picture. I see a humble heart. One who doesn't think of themselves greater than another. One willing to go the distance.

Jesus speaks, "I assure you: One of you will betray Me!" John 13:21b Can you see the disciples looking at one another in wonderment? Each thinking nothing of the sort could ever happen. Jesus and Peter have a conversation. Peter seeks to understand.  "So he leaned back against Jesus and asked Him, Lord, who is it?" John 13:25 This is the part that brings it home for me. Here is Peter, the one who will deny Jesus, pondering Judas doing something so horrendous. I can see him having the,  "How could he!", attitude. Really, put yourself there. I can hear Peter saying, "What? Jesus are You being for real right now? Judas? Are You sure? I mean he is so charitable. He loves to give to the poor. I mean has walked among us. He is part of You." Not that any of us have ever done such a thing. Surly not us. But others, right? Humility in it's deepest moments would hit these men shortly.

Time would change before their eyes. Their Savior would be taken and they are left in their dirty feet, now  understanding the message in full. "I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. By this all people  will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:34-35

That's a simple commandment, right? To love one another seems reasonable. Jesus doesn't tell these men that it will be easy. When we are to love one another we are to do so in our Father's love. That changes everything. Who would have thought a foot washing to be so powerful. A moment in time for us to all look to for example.

"I assure you: A slave is not greater than his master, and a messenger is not greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them." John 13:16-17 Jesus gives us a clear picture here to not think of ourselves as greater than other. Position means nothing. At the foot of the cross we are all equal, friends. We are to do for others. We are to do the work of our Savior. We must reach out beyond ourselves and love as we want to be loved.

Okay, let me be real. There are a great many of people's feet that I need to wash. First, I need to begin with my Savior. I need to let go of bitterness trying to grasp for my soul. I need to lay at the cross the hurts that plague my heart. I need to simply forgive. I need to love past the words of forgiveness and allow my actions to live presently. There is no time for later. Time is now.

Feet washing was for the lowest of all servants. Jesus took on this roll as Servant to those He was to show love to. I can only imagine as Peter and Judas sat down before Jesus. Maybe He wanted to prepare them. I suppose He was. Just maybe He wanted to ask them, "Why? After the love that I have shown you. Why?" But see, this is Jesus. He loves beyond all measure. This is the Jesus we are to be.

For me, I guess the message I walk away with is this: I need to see past my own feet. I need to place my Savior first in my life. I need to walk with a humble mind and a heart filled with grace. I don't need to point at others when I have my own issues at heart. I am to be a servant of the Lord. Placing others before myself. My faith will grow as I step out  and live the example that Jesus shares with us here in this room.

Dear Heavenly Father, I come to You, humble and upon my knees. Your love is so filled with mercy. A mercy I need to carry. You live grace. A grace I need to give freely. Jesus, help me to forgive. Help me to see beyond my own hurts and see the heavenly purpose. Lord, wash me in Your love. Fill me with Your grace. May I walk in Your mercies new each day. You have given us the example of love. A pure and undefiled love. Show me, Lord. Show me. Take my life and make it Yours. Teach me Your ways and may I forever walk in obedience to You, Lord.
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