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Friday, June 21, 2013

Let Jesus Wash Your Feet

washed feetAfter that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped round him. John 13:5

Thanks to problems with our car this week, I have been getting to work using the wonderful West Midlands bus service and God's original transport system - my own two feet. Although my feet became hot and tired by the end of the day, at least I wasn't wearing sandals (with or without socks) and they weren't exposed to the dirt and grime of first century Palestine.

Getting Dirty 
Foot washing was a normal part of every day life in Jesus' world. It must have been wonderful to experience the cool water on your feet after being out in the heat all day but it was a dirty, menial task for the servant or slave who had to do the washing. That Jesus did this for His disciples is remarkable.

I haven't felt polluted by physical environment, but I have found myself feeling unclean after some exchanges with atheists on Twitter this week. I am more than willing to engage in rational debate with people asking serious questions. The problem is that some people don't like it when you have an answer to their objections. When they discover that you know what you're talking about and aren't cowed by their arguments, there are a few who resort to insults, bad language and personal attacks.

I am not offended; I know the gospel is foolishness to those who are perishing (1 Cor 1:18). But if I engage with such people for too long I find myself slipping into their style of argument and failing to deal with them in love. There comes a point at which you have to shake the dust from your feet and move on. But I still find myself feeling in need of cleansing.

Being Cleansed 
The only place to go is to the presence of Jesus, submitting to His desire to pour His cleansing Spirit over our souls. There doesn't need to be any great effort of prayer or worship, just a willingness to let Him wash away the accumulated dust, grime and filth. In the words of songwriter Dougie Brown:

River, wash over me 
Cleanse me and make me new 
Bathe me, refresh me and fill me anew 
River wash over me

Spirit, watch over me 
Lead me to Jesus' feet 
Cause me to worship and fill me anew 
Spirit, watch over me

Jesus, rule over me 
Reign over all my heart 
Teach me to praise You and fill me anew 
Jesus, rule over me

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