Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Washing of Feet

A couple of weeks ago at Sojourn we heard a sermon on John 13, the passage in which Jesus washes the disciples' feet.  This passage can be a tough one for us since the details are so culturally distant.  In America it's not a social custom for servants to wash the feet of dinner guests so the absence of such an act aren't missed.  Yet there is still so much for us to gain from this passage, and if we consider the implications of Jesus' actions we can learn a lot about the nature of God.

Obviously the act of washing someone else's feet is incredibly humbling.  To get a taste of this, last week in our community group we actually washed each other's feet.  I know that the cultural context is much different, but it was still a powerful lesson in humility.  Our feet were relatively clean, but in Jesus' everyone wore sandals and their feet would be covered in dirt, dust, and who knows what else.  Needless to say, those were some feet that truly needed washing.  The craziest part of our foot-washing experience was imagining that it was Jesus himself washing our feet.  We serve a God who kneels.  A God who serves.  A God who loves with an unconditional, unimaginable kind of love.  With his act of foot washing Jesus demonstrated a sacrificial love that asks for nothing in return.  I had never given much thought to the fact that Jesus washed Judas' feet mere hours before he would betray him.  If anyone didn't deserve to have their feet washed by God himself it was Judas, yet Jesus did it anyway.  And I know that the same is true for me.  I don't deserve to be made clean by Jesus.  I can't do enough good on my own to merit his love, but thankfully I don't have to.  I rejoice in the fact that I serve a God who comes to me and offers me everything even though I have nothing to give in return.  Talk about scandalous love!

In his sermon Kevin said that the greatest battle for the Christian isn't against sin but is to believe that God really loves him or her.  I'll admit that lately I've struggled with this myself.  Maybe it's because it's just so staggering to think that the God of the universe would really want to be personally involved in my life.  Maybe it's because when I'm honest with myself I know that I tend to run away from God in a lot of ways.  I know deep down that I'm unloveable because of the sin in my life, but the beauty of Jesus is that he loves the unloveable.  Titus 3:5-7 reminds me that, "he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.  He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life." 

I'm at a point in my life where I just need to soak in God's grace and continually remember that it's not because of anything I've done or will do that has earned me his love.  It has always been (and always will be) about what he's done for me.  He's washed my feet and made my clean not because I deserved it but because he is good.  Praise God! 

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