Just preached John 13:1-20 … and was “locked in” to the phrase in v10 that the one who has bathed “is completely clean”. What an amazing Gospel promise and one that we don’t probably consider often enough, and certainly don’t “live in” often enough. The first picture Jesus is giving to the disciples at this foot washing episode is the complete cleansing that the cross provides. The first and primary picture that guides the rest of the pictures is the “washing of regeneration” (Titus 3:5), the cleansing blood of the Lamb, the atoning sacrifice of Jesus that makes us not just clean … but completely clean.
Why is this so hard to embrace? Because we feel so dirty. Sin had left its crimson stain and we try so hard to scrub it off through our moralistic behavior, good deeds, and sacrificial service. And guess what? Not only do those things not “get it off”, if we are in Christ, it’s “already off”. We are completely clean. Judas wasn’t of course, and Jesus knew this … it wasn’t merely his feet that were dirty, his heart was dirty. This was hard for the disciples to understand, which is why the narrative is so fascinating … it’s so much more than physical foot washing. It starts with the washing only Jesus provides … and then once we’ve been washed in the blood, we can follow His example of washing “the daily dirt” that gets on us living as fleshly people in a fallen world. I can’t make your heart clean, but I can serve you by reminding you of the ultimate cleansing you’ve already received, help you live in the reality of that, and push you to get involved in stinky feet sorta ministry with the world we live in.
Child of God … You are completely clean. Justified, forgiven, and free! Of course we haven’t arrived at perfection, we strive in the flesh to be all that God has made us. And until then, we must live fully aware of the Gospel cleansing that is complete. Not seeking to add anything to it … and daily loving each other, serving each other, and ministering the Gospel to each other!
Committed to washing your feet,