Theme of the Week: Maximum Joy
Bible Verse: “Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” Matthew 19:28
Scripture Reading: John 13:3-10
The truth Jesus wished to share in the Upper Room was for the ears of believers only. But even these believers needed to be cleansed of their daily sins in order to be in fellowship with the Lord. If they were not in fellowship with Him, they would not be able to comprehend the truth He wished to share.
Relationship Truth and Fellowship Truth. Jesus presents this in a symbolic way: taking a bath (Relationship Truth) and foot washing (Fellowship Truth). When Jesus stooped down to wash the feet of Peter, Peter pulled back. When Peter yields, he asks flippantly for an entire bath. The Lord explains to Peter that he has already had a complete bath; now, he simply needs his feet washed. Jesus tells Peter that he’s “completely clean,” but if he doesn’t allow the Lord to wash his feet, Peter can have no part with Him.
How could Peter be completely clean, yet still dirty? At the same time, a believer can be justified or declared righteous, completely clean (his position in Christ), but also be sinful, in need of foot washing (his condition on earth). On the relationship level, the believer is seen as completely clean, all his sins are cleansed once and for all time—past, present, and yet future sins. But on the fellowship or intimacy level, the believer needs daily foot washing, that is daily cleansing from sins in his walk on earth.
If Peter was not willing to have his feet washed —be cleansed in his condition from his daily sins— he could have “no part” with Jesus, that is, no intimacy, fellowship, and significant role in His mission. Jesus was about to leave this world. In less than twenty-four hours, He would be on the cross. He was about to entrust His entire mission, or at least His Great Commission, to these eleven men. But they had dirty feet which needed washing.
Peter and John should have washed the feet of their brothers in the Upper Room. Even though they already knew they would be rulers in the kingdom Christ would establish, now they wanted to know who would be the greatest among them. With greatness on their minds, Peter and John were not willing to stoop down to wash dirty feet, especially the feet of their brothers with whom they were competing. The result was dirty feet, a full basin of water, and a clean towel. Dirty feet meant dirty hearts.
Unless their hearts were cleansed, the gospel mission would die. Dirty feet do not spread the gospel.
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