“Not my will Lord; Let your will be done in my life.”
We often think we know what’s best for ourselves and what we should do to please God. Usually without a thought as to what God’s perfect will is for our lives, or what is actually pleasing to Him. In spending some time with the Holy Spirit to understand this, I was lead to John 13, when Jesus washed the feet of His Disciples after He finished the Last Supper.
It is easy to think that the ultimate service we can perform for God is to be great in our calling… to be a great Prophet, a great Preacher or worker of Miracles; but no, this is not the case. Jesus is the Son of God, a Prophet, a teacher and preacher of the Gospel, a worker of miracles; and so much more. Yet, in John 13, after He had the Last Supper He washed the feet of His disciples. So what is Jesus saying to us here?
Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; He rose from supper, and laid aside his garments; and 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 wherewith he was girded…
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 with twelve men who had been journeying with Him throughout His ministry, and … WASHED THEIR FEET!
It was the custom at that time for slaves to be assigned the task of washing the feet of the masters’ guests. That task was NEVER done by anyone of high status in society…EVER…So why did Jesus do this? He removed His outer garments took a towel and girded Himself in preparation for the task just as the slaves would have done at that time.
But this was not just a physical or practical exercise. In this one act there are many spiritually symbolic meanings. In verse 10; Christ says; ‘he who is bathed needs only to wash His feet, but is completely clean.’ When we come to Christ we are washed in His blood so we are COMPLETELY clean, we have been justified by our Faith in Him. Our FEET however continues to get dirty and unclean as they represent our WALK in Christ. We are at the start of our journey so we have a long way to go! They will get dirty on this daily journey as we make mistakes. Sometimes we will get ourselves all messed up, we will sin whether consciously or unconsciously; physically or in our minds!! So therefore, our feet need washing again and again. We do this through confessing our sins to God and to each other… (JAMES 5:16 confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed.)
WE MUST ACKNOWLEDGE WHERE WE ARE GOING WRONG!
Only Jesus can cleanse us from the sins committed on our walk, only He can wash away sins… so Peter or any of the disciples could NOT wash the feet of Jesus. Jesus also knew that shortly one would betray Him; one would deny Him and the others would run away from Him… so He was already cleansing them and forgiving them for what they were about to do. This was the fullness of God’s Love and Mercy, that all the Disciples had to do was to confess their sins to Him acknowledge what they had because He had already cleansed them and forgiven them… He washed Judas’ feet’ so Judas was already cleansed and forgiven for his part but we know that he never went back to the Lord with it… he later took his life when he realised what he had done!!
We follow Christ’s example by washing each other’s feet not to cleanse anyone from their sins but to show LOVE, COMPASSION AND FORGIVENESS TO EACH OTHER and to commit to serving each other…
It is a practical act with a deep spiritual meaning, just like the Holy Communion. When we eat the bread which represents Christ’s body and drink the wine which represents Christ’s blood we remember His crucifixion; a practical act with a very deep spiritual meaning.
The washing of each others’ feet represents the ultimate in service to God and His people. Jesus did not ask us to wash our own feet as this would be self-serving, we MUST serve each other. When we make our lives about others and NOT about ourselves… only then can God work with us! The ultimate service to God is to love and serve Him obediently as Christ did and to love and serve each other as Christ did. It’s not about ‘us,’ it’s about Him. God needs to be able to call on us at anytime to do whatever He asks us to do.
When God calls on you, do you hear Him, or do you continue doing what pleases you?