Good morning to all; I hope that today’s reading reaches you well.
There, once again, is much that could be discussed in this chapter. We will highlight a few things in today’s blog. For any one interested in a message board type of additional dialog and study please go to the link below:
Jesus, while with the disciples gives one last lesson. The lesson that He demonstrated was servant hood. I love that Jesus so often demonstrated His lessons other than plainly speaking them. Oh how much we can learn from Him in the area of making disciples. When people see something demonstrated it makes a much deeper impression on them.
Jesus girds Himself and begins to wash the disciples feet; but there is so much more than what we see on the surface here in these few verses. During that time, when one traveled, they would obviously get their feet dirty; Nike, Adidas or Air Jordans were not quite around yet and open toed sandals did not mesh well with the arid conditions of the region. So what was common place, was when a visitor was entering a home, the master would call his servant to wash the feet of that visitor. It was polite, necessary and a custom. Every one in that circle completely understood the picture that Jesus was presenting at that time. The master of the home would never stoop to wash a visitors feet, that would be preposterous, so therefore, a servant would be brought out to do the lowly duty. Jesus explained that if He, Lord of all, could posture Himself in this manner they should be also able to easily do the same.
Even though most, if not all, of us know this bit of history, lets look a little deeper today. Think today, of all who were in attendance. One may see the lesson being that of James and John (being known as the sons of thunder) who argued over who would be the greatest in heaven; or perhaps Peter who seems like an alpha male with a temper problem. But it is so much more, more for us to learn even today. Jesus told the people around Him during the sermon on the mount “if you greet your brethren only, what good is it? Do not the tax collectors do the same?” We as believers may easily imagine washing the feet of those we serve with, we can imagine serving those in whom we love. But there was a critter in their midst! Judas had not yet been dismissed. Jesus could have easily mixed up the order of the evening and had Judas, the thief that would betray Him, exit before the washing of the feet. But He simply didn’t. I don’t believe that it “slipped His mind” and in the moment made a blunder. Jesus purposely and methodically, stooped down before Judas Iscariot and washed his filthy, traitor, evil, devil infested feet. This act demonstrates much more that we may realize at first glance. Jesus had called us to serve and love the un-lovable. Jesus never condoned his actions; in fact He would say “It would be better for him to have never been born.” But Jesus demonstrated a servants heart toward all.
Yesterday Joni Goodman wrote a comment on the “studying together” face book page in which she saw how amazing it was that Jesus knew what Judas would do, but still remained silent and took no action at that time. Here Jesus takes it a step farther by showing a servant’s heart toward him, even though he was completely undeserving. Jesus has called us to be servants, not only to those in which it is easy to do so, but also towards those in which it seems impossible. We still have critters in our lives; do we not? How do we treat them?
The second thing in this passage that I would like to focus on is that of Simon Peter’s reaction to Jesus and how Jesus responded. Peter at first said “you will never wash my feet” then he, in an instant, declares “wash me all over.” Jesus explains to Peter that he is clean already, but not all of him. then Jesus goes on to say “If I do not wash you, you have no part with me.” Jesus is symbolizing the believer’s life. At salvation we have been “cleaned already. All sin has been removed. They symbolism here is that of one bathing. If one were to bathe they would be clean; but as they ventured outside (into the world) they would get their feet dirty. It was inevitable in the day’s climate (and lack of sidewalks). If we, as true believers, do not allow Jesus to daily cleanse us from the sin that the dirt of the world brings, we can have no part in Him. Although forgiven at salvation, mistakes and sin will creep in. These need to be laid at Jesus’ feet on a regular basis. if we do not, we will have no part in His ministry or plan. I John 1:9 states “If you confess your falts, He is faithful and Just to forgive you of your sins and cleanse you from all unrighteousness.” the passage that i just mentioned was written to believers. We will never “arrive” and will constantly need to allow Jesus to wash our feet. When the mentality of Peter creeps in, we become prideful and, in effect say, “I got this” when in all reality there is no way that we can rid ourselves of the sin in our daily lives except through the washing of Jesus Christ.
I hope that you are still enjoying our journey in His Word together. Please feel free to comment either here or on the face book page. The FB page is a closed group, so if you are not in the group yet please find Joni Goodman and ask her for an invite. May God bless!