So he (Jesus) got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean. John 13:4-10
Jesus knows he is about to disappoint the disciples in a big way. They thought he had come to set up an earthly kingdom, but in a few short hours, he is to be taken from them and crucified. He knows the heart-wrenching pain, disappointments and fears the disciples are to experience soon. Their world will turn upside down, and they will not fully understand its implications for a long time to come. While Jesus is about to teach his disciples a crucial lesson on servanthood, I believe there is another equally important takeaway from this setting.
After walking on dusty and dirt-filled roads from one town to another, the disciples' feet were often in need of being washed. In our modern world, while it is more likely that our vehicles, not our feet, that are on the receiving end of the dirt and grime of our comings and goings, our minds and hearts do get covered in the dirt and grime while walking through our daily lives.
The dust of daily disappointments, the scratches from insensitive words or the dirt of offensive life experiences need to be washed away for us to live an abundant life. Infrequent washing creates stinkin’ thinking! Allowing the Word of God to pour over our mind and heart wipes away the grime accumulated during the week that distorts spiritual vision and keeps us from hearing the voice of God more clearly.
Why not take a few moments now to be still. Soak in, the presence of the Lord. Allow the wind of the Holy Spirit to empower and strengthen you as God’s Word washes away any offense, rejection, hurt, guilt, unforgiveness, fear or anxiety you accumulated today and provides the protective covering needed as you journey ahead.
…just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word…
Ephesians 5: 25-26