Sunday, April 1, 2012

Easter Devotion One - Your Feet Stink

Try living with three boys and one grown man at the end of the day. They come in, take their shoes off and toss their dirty socks in the middle of the floor. The short version? Their feet stink!

Photo Courtesy of James Eberlein
Who would want to wash them? I don't. Let them bathe themselves!

Imagine living in biblical times. Shoes were a luxury. And they weren't even real shoes. They wore sandals. The dirt they trudged through every day stuck to their feet. They didn't have socks or leather uppers to protect them from the outer elements. They didn't have barn boots for milking or mucking. Nope. Just good ol' feet and thin sandals.

Who would want to wash their feet?

Yet, the supper being ended, Jesus rose from the table and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. He poured water into a basin and began washing the disciples' feet. Twelve sets of them, including the feet of the man His arch enemy would use to betray Him. Once He'd washed them, He wiped them with the towel He wore.

I don't know about you, but I would find it quite unsettling to have to wash my enemy's feet. I would also find it difficult to use the only covering I have to wipe them dry. After all, this is feet we're talking about. Some people have foot fetishes. Others of us find them quite disgusting.

Simon Peter gets that it's beneath someone to wash another's feet. He pipes up. "Lord, are you washing my feet? You shall never wash my feet!"

Jesus calmly explains to him, "If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me." (John 13:8)

Photo Courtesy of Janusz Gawron
Ah! He gets it. "Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!" (John 13:9) In other words, if you're going to clean my feet, don't forget the important parts of me as well. Clean me from head to toe, Lord!

But Jesus responds, "He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you." (John 13:10)

See, when we're covered in the blood of Jesus and He has washed all our sins away, we are completely clean. Our minds, hearts and hands are free from the curse of sin, because they remain covered by His death on the cross.

So why does Jesus leave us with, "If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet?" (John 13:14)

Because we daily walk through this life on earth. Earth is not our home. Heaven is. But as we sojourn here, we pick up the dust as we kick it up. Just as the soles of our feet cover with the filth we walk through, our souls pick up the filth of this world. We need to take a daily bath.

Ephesians 6:15 instructs us to "...shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace." We are to remember to bring the gospel everywhere we travel (with our feet).

Now envision that wash basin as the Word of God. In Ephesians 5:25-26, husbands are instructed to love their wives as Christ loved the church. They are told to give themselves for her. Why? "That He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word." Jesus, in washing the disciples' feet (His church) was sanctifying (setting them apart) and cleansing them, using the water of His word.

We are to wash one another's feet as an example of cleansing one another with God's word. Just as we partake of communion in remembrance of Christ's sacrifice for us on the cross, so should we continue to encourage one another in the things of God.

"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,
 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." - 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NKJV, emphasis mine)

Lord, help me to remember to rinse myself in Your refreshing Word today. As I do, quicken to my spirit an encouraging word of edification for my brothers and sisters in Christ. May my words lead them to You as my feet take Your gospel with me in my daily walk of life.


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