Posted by: pastortomvabeach | September 19, 2017

Thought for the Week September 24, 2017

On Sunday we looked at John’s account of the Last Supper, specifically the time when Jesus washed the disciples’ feet. John says it this way, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. 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 13:3-5)

With everything else that was going on during that moment, It is crucial to understand that the most important purpose of washing His follower’s feet is the powerful symbolism of that act. In an undignified act of washing feet, Jesus was acting out in a living parable the process of forgiveness. Through another demeaning act, hanging on a cross to die, He would take the judgment for our sins so that we could be wiped clean.

The foot washing was the prelude to the crucifixion. What Jesus did for the disciples at that supper, He did for us all on Calvary. But it is important to note is that Jesus didn’t say and do the things He did just so we could know the history or so we could feel good about Him or ourselves. He did what He did so we could be changed and then do like He did. After He finished washing everyone’s feet, John tells us He said, 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 also should do just as I have done to you. (John 13:14-15)

Since it is obvious that we can’t die for the sins of the world (Jesus already did that), how do we do as Jesus did? Literally washing each others’ feet doesn’t seem to be what He is getting at, so what is it? We all live in a world that bombards us with sin’s dust and grime. Things we hear, things we see, situations that try us, temptations that deceive us, all cause us to trip and fall so that we wind up saying and doing things that offend and hurt others, straining our relationships with them and with God. The only remedy for this is to receive God’s forgiveness (come to Jesus for cleansing regularly) and then to forgive each other. When we forgive, we are washing the dirt off another’s feet.

When I forgive someone, I’m not saying they did nothing wrong. Rather, I am saying, “Brother, sister, wife, husband, mom, dad, son, daughter, friend, etc., what you did hurt. I can’t believe you said or did that. It offended me and it was wrong. But because of Jesus, I love you so much that I’m gonna wipe the dust and dirt, as thick as it is, off your feet, so they are clean and the evidence of the offense is gone.” Is that hard? Sure!

So what would it take for you to do like Jesus did? Is there someone you need to forgive, someone who offended or hurt you that you are holding on to? Husbands, when was the last time you wiped dust off your wife’s feet? Wives, what bothers you about your husband that you need to forgive? Parents, what would it look like if you got humble enough to wipe the dust off your kid’s feet? Kids, when did you tell your parents that you forgive them (they mess up sometimes, too)?

I wonder if we realize how radically different from the world Jesus calls us to be? As a Christian, He doesn’t just save us from our sins, He wants to save us from futile and shallow attitudes, from the lifestyles of this world. The world looks for status, Jesus looks for servants. The world wants to get even, Jesus says to reconcile, love, and forgive. The greatest leader of all time, the all knowing, all powerful Son of God led by serving, by forgiving. And when He was done, He said, “Now you do the same thing.”

Don’t say, “I’ll become a servant one day, when I’ve achieved my goals or when the kids are grown, or when I’ve taken care of my responsibilities.” Don’t fall into the trap of thinking, “I’ll forgive when they give me a reason to respect them.” You won’t do either. If you keep putting off serving others or balk at forgiving, there will always be a good reason to delay taking the towel as Jesus did. You’ll get to the end of your life having done everything you meant to do, except to love and serve. Thoughts to ponder.

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