John 13:2-15 New Living Translation (NLT)
2 It was time for supper, and the devil had already prompted Judas,[a] son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. 4 So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, 5 and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him.
6 When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
7 Jesus replied, “You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.”
8 “No,” Peter protested, “you will never ever wash my feet!”
Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me.”
9 Simon Peter exclaimed, “Then wash my hands and head as well, Lord, not just my feet!”
10 Jesus replied, “A person who has bathed all over does not need to wash, except for the feet,[b] to be entirely clean. And you disciples are clean, but not all of you.” 11 For Jesus knew who would betray him. That is what he meant when he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
12 After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing? 13 You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. 14 And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. 15 I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.
As my groom and I sat drinking our morning coffee last weekend, I began reading the above familiar passage out loud. As the Holy Spirit often does, He surprised me when this verse seemed to jump right off the page:
10 Jesus replied, “A person who has bathed all over does not need to wash, except for the feet, to be entirely clean. And you disciples are clean, but not all of you.”
Jesus taught Kingdom principles through parables. He told life stories about every day mundane things to those who followed Him and those He called His disciples. Those with ears to hear understood immediately the hidden truth woven through His words. Those with slight hearing loss would understand someday. And those that were deaf would never understand.
As Jesus began washing His disciples feet, He told Peter (who was suffering from slight hearing loss) that he would understand what he was doing…someday. Like Peter, with hearing problems, we understand the Kingdom principle of serving through this parable-like story of Jesus, penned by John. But when we grab the q-tips and clean out our ears, we hear the Holy Spirit whisper the hidden meaning woven through our Teacher’s words:
10 Jesus replied, “A person who has bathed all over does not need to wash, except for the feet,[b] to be entirely clean. And you disciples are clean, but not all of you.”
- When we belong to Jesus, He bathes us all over (salvation = spirit)
- When we belong to Jesus, we are washed and made clean (repentance = soul, baptism = body).
- When our feet get dirty from battle, (armor of God; Ephesians 6:15) we can sit in His presence every day and be made entirely clean (sanctification = soul).
- When we belong to Jesus, we follow His example and “wash each others feet” (salvation = preach the Good News to others, sanctification = minister to others souls, serve = others needs in the body of Christ)
You cannot wash someone else’s feet if you don’t belong to Jesus.
Have you been bathed all over?
Are you a clean disciple?
Do your feet need to be washed – again?
Sit down at the table with Jesus. Watch as He takes off His robe for you, wraps a towel around His waist for you, and pours living water into a basin for you. Let Him wash the dirt from your feet. Then get up and go love others the way He has loved you.