Then He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around Him. (John 13:5)
Read John 13:1-17
How terribly uncomfortable that must have been. Imagine it: Jesus Christ, your Lord and Savior, kneeling at your feet with a basin, dealing with the stink and the sweat and the dirt of a long day traveled in sandals. No wonder Peter protested. "You shall never wash my feet!" he bursts out. You can almost hear the other disciples agreeing.
But Jesus puts a stop to that. "If I don't wash you, you have no share with Me," He says. It is as if He said, "Then you don't belong to me; we aren't together."
Peter is horrified. "If that's the way it is, don't just do my feet -- do my hands, my head ..."
Jesus must have smiled. He assured Peter that the feet were enough. After all, anybody who has had a bath is clean already, except for those dirty feet which are always in contact with the road.
But what about you, when Jesus approaches you with a basin? What about me? God knows I need my sin washed away. I'm almost desperate to have it done. But must Jesus be the One to come in contact with it: my stinky, disgusting, horrible sin? Oh, not You, Lord!
And again He says, "Unless I wash you, you don't belong to Me." And like Peter I respond: "Fine, good, wonderful. Do all of me!"
But Jesus says to us as well: "A person who has had a bath is already clean, and only needs his feet washed. You have been baptized, you are Mine. All you need now is My daily forgiveness and cleansing." And then Jesus adds this kicker:
"Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet" (John 13:13-14).
As He has forgiven us, so let us get on with the job of forgiving those who sin against us. No matter how hard and stinky it will be.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, we find it almost impossible to forgive others as You have forgiven us. Come, live in us, and do this work also through us. Amen.
What household chore do you most hate to do, and why?
When Jesus washes you through His forgiving love, you really are clean, and that's how He sees you, no matter what you personally may have done. How does that make you feel, knowing that?
When you struggle with forgiving someone else, what do you do to make it easier? How do you find help?
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