Jesus washed their feet . . .
This morning in my quiet time with the Lord, Jesus gave me a special experience through His Word. I want to share it with you. I encourage you to receive the gift for yourself, as it’s free, gentle and totally available.
I was sitting up, but stretched out on the couch in my living room. My feet were up and I was comfortable and relaxed. Almost every day (except when on the Daniel Fast) I have “coffee with Jesus.” It’s a cherished time and so often I want it to extend far beyond the one or two hours I set aside for the meeting. This was such a morning.
I started reading John 13. This is the account of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet on that final Passover night in the upper room. As I read the first few verses of the chapter, I tried to enter into the experience. I tried to picture the upper room and the disciples and see and feel Jesus in this scene:
Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.
Jesus knew what was coming . . . He knew that in just a few hours He would be beaten beyond recognition. He knew He would lay His body on the cross and have spikes hammered into His hands and feet. He knew what awaited Him.
I tried to imagine, as much as I could, how He would feel. I winced just thinking about all the pain and torment that Christ would endure.
In the midst of all this knowledge, after supper Jesus slowly and purposefully prepared Himself and washed the disciples’ feet, a lowly task and exercise commonly relegated to servants.
Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, “Lord, are You washing my feet?”
Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.”
Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!”
Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.”
Oh my, there is so much deep truth in Christ’s words. Unless we can truly receive Christ and be washed by Him . . . we can’t understand, receive or enter into His Way, His Truth and His Life.
Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!”Jesus said to him, “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.” For He knew who would betray Him; therefore He said, “You are not all clean.”
Again, Jesus knew, at least in part, what was to come in the next hours. He felt the heartache of betrayal. He felt the dishonor. He felt the emotional pain of having someone He had befriended and cared for . . . who was now about to turn against Him and make way for the ensuing steps.
So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.
I pictured the disciples. They probably thought this was a special night. After all, it was the Passover Supper, one of the most important remembrances in their Jewish tradition. My guess is that they thought tomorrow would be like many others they had experienced as they listened intently to Jesus. He was teaching them another valuable lesson.
I closed my eyes and tried to imagine the scene . . . it was powerful as I thought of Christ’s loving expression toward these men even though His heart must have been very heavy.
So I sat on the couch for a few more minutes, and then I swung my legs around to get up. That was when my spirit heard the Lord saying to me, “Now let Me wash your feet.”
Even as I write these words to you, my breath is taken away. I sat and imagined Jesus washing my feet. Tears streamed down my face and my heart burst with overwhelming humility, love, thanksgiving and more emotions than words can even describe.
I sat in this position for a while, not wanting to miss any of what the Lord wanted to show me and teach me. I imagined Jesus kneeling in front of me, lovingly washing my feet. I was quiet and tried to take it all in.
That’s when I heard the words, “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash the feet of others. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.”
I realized, as those words coursed through my understanding that I could harbor no unforgiveness, frustration, or other negative attitudes toward another. Jesus had washed my feet. How could I not humble myself and repeat the act toward others.
This experience was a life-changing gift from the Lord. The lesson is not over, yet. I know my spirit will draw from this scene during those situations when my flesh flares up. The great thing is that when that happens, I can go back to the moment when Jesus said to me, “Now let me wash your feet.” I know all pride, bitterness, hurt and resentment will once again be washed away. There is no way I can have my feet washed by the Savior and then not wash the feet of anyone He sends my way.
I encourage you to put yourself in a quiet place. Begin reading John 13:1-15. Put yourself in the midst of the scene . . . and then allow the Lord to wash your feet.
The rest of this passage is this: “Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.”
Jesus says that we will be blessed if we do those things we know to be true in Him. This is the good life in Christ. The sweet life of walking in the Spirit. It is ours to have . . . but we must first humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, learn from our Teacher, and then do what He calls us to do.
Be blessed, dear friend in Christ! Sip from the cup the Lord serves you. It is sweet, wholesome and life-giving.