The basin and the towel

Greetings brothers and sisters… Pastor Rob here

Have you ever washed someone else’s feet? It is a humbling task; and in Jesus day, it was only performed by slaves. It was considered too demeaning for anyone else to do it. I have had the privilege of being on both sides of the basin… I have washed others’ feet, and I have had my feet washed. And in my experience, it is much more humbling to have your feet washed than to wash another’s feet.

I think Simon Peter experienced the same emotion when the Lord Jesus prepared to wash his feet!… In chapter 13 of the book of John, we find Jesus with his disciples just finishing the Passover meal, when the Lord takes off His outer garments, wraps a towel around His waist and brings a basin of water to His disciples to wash their feet. But when He gets to Peter, He meets with stiff opposition: Peter exclaims, “You shall never wash my feet!” He was not about to let his Master do the work of a slave! But Jesus told him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” Whereupon good old Peter says, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!” Then Jesus made a startling leap from physical cleansing to spiritual cleansing: “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; you are clean, but not all of you.” (For He knew who would betray Him, therefore he said, “You are not all clean.”) Jesus knew that His betrayer was the only one of his disciples who was not spiritually clean.

But that was not the point of His washing their feet. His lesson was on two levels, the physical and the spiritual. In the physical realm, Jesus was acting as a servant to His disciples. And he told them, “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.” He was clearly telling them to serve each other. But what about the spiritual realm? Remember He said, “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet.” In other words, when you are cleansed by the blood of Christ for salvation, you are completely clean! But if you should sin, you don’t need to get saved all over again, you just need to have your feet washed! We believers in Christ, as we walk through this sinful world, find that our feet get dirty! Yes, we often fall into sin, but we don’t lose our salvation, we just need to have our feet washed by our wonderful Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ! …”If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

Today was Maundy Thursday; the day in the church calendar when we remember that Christ washed His disciples’ feet during the celebration of the Passover. His disciples were humbled that their Lord washed their feet. And it is so humbling for us that our Lord freely washes our feet…He cleanses us of our sins when we pick up the dirt of this world. And we ought to follow His example by serving one another and by forgiving one another! As Christ washes our feet, so we should wash each other’s feet. How? By freely forgiving one another!

—Pastor Rob

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