Washing semi-trucks and road trains is a part of my daily job and so many times when a truck returns from a trip the only thing that needs washing are the wheels. When a road train returns from a trip to Perth and back we make the decision about what needs cleaning by a quick observation. One of us will say, “It is already clean, just the wheels need doing.” The prime mover and the trailers are still clean but the wheels pick up dust and grime from the road surface and so need a little going over with a sponge and some detergent so that they gleam in the same fashion as the rest of the truck. So it is with us who believe in Jesus Christ.
You are already clean, in fact you are completely clean, only your feet need washing.
The disciples of Jesus had walked with Jesus for 3 years and during those three years His words had pruned them and purged them and washed them completely. They had allowed His word to do that in themselves. They had given Him permission to cleanse them by their acceptance of His word. We have a choice whether to believe God or not. God shall not ever force us. But even though He will not force us, there are consequences for not believing His word.
When the angel came to Elisabeth and Zechariah to tell them they would soon have baby Elisabeth believed but Zechariah did not. She was filled with the Spirit–He was made mute which signifies the Spirit being stifled and stymied and stopped up. The flowing out of living water ceased in Zechariah’s life, whereas Elisabeth prophesied and went on rejoicing in Spirit as she continued to believe the word she had accepted.
Elisabeth conceived and said Luk 1:25 “Adonai has done this for me! In these days He looked upon me, to take away my disgrace among the people.”
Zechariah’s doubt brought this Luk 1:20 But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time.”
His name shall be called John
When Elisabeth exclaimed with joy and wonder Adonai has done this for me! In these days He looked upon me, to take away my disgrace among the people she was preaching the Gospel of God’s Grace. The grace of God brings forth a son and his name shall be called JOHN.
The name John encapsulates what Elisabeth said in Luke 1:25. John or Jochanan describes perfectly what God did for them in giving them a son. We can also see why John the disciple was the one Jesus loved. The name tells the Gospel story. Elisabeth believed the Gospel and brought it forth–the message of God’s great grace towards all who were covered in shame and disgrace.
–DIS- GRACE HAS BECOME FULL GRACE!! We were without favour—now we have been showered and washed in His favour!!
Have a look at what John means…This is God’s action of love towards you.
- properly to bend or stoop in kindness to an inferior;
- to favor,
- bestow ,
- be fair,
- be favorable,
- find favour,
- give mercy,
- grant favour,
- give grace to,
- mercy upon,
- have pity on,
Elisabeth said God looked upon her to take away or remove, cut off, to take from, and to carry off her disgrace…her reproach and shame among the people….her notoriety as one who is barren and fruitless.
God looks upon all of us with kindness and sees the longing of our heart to be fruitful, to bear a child, to bring forth something of value. He knows we can never do it. So He HAS ACTED in his kindness and sent His WORD that whoever believes and receives His Word -JESUS- , shall become pregnant and bear a child of His grace. God bends down to us who are inferior and gives of Himself to us, He serves us and lifts us up to be with Him.
I also wrote about this grace here- https://condemnednomore.com/2016/01/17/let-jesus-lift-you-up-2/
In our own strength all we will ever bring forth is wind. We shall not bring forth any deliverance in the earth. But with God –in union with God–all things are possible!!
So here we have Jesus coming to wash Peter’s feet. Jesus is acting out a truth He wants them to grasp. This is the GOSPEL.
He – THE LORD AND TEACHER stoops down to his disciples. He bends down and bestows grace upon them. He removes His outer garment signifying NO PRETENDING not that he ever did, but in this real life parable He is demonstrating no pretending. All is open and honest and sincere with Jesus. And so He comes to wash our feet. Stooping low, bending down, His love intent on blessing us.
Peter once again recoils in FEAR from this LOVE. Do you relate?
This love that comes to us to EMBRACE US and to make us ROYALTY ….this love that says YOU ARE COMPLETELY CLEAN FOR I HAVE CLEANSED YOU….comes now to wash our feet.
Peter at one time told the Lord to “depart from me for I am a sinful man!!” Now Peter is telling Jesus to go away again because his feet are dirty. But Jesus stoops down and washed Peter’s feet and reminds him that he is completely clean already because he has been bathed in Jesus WORDS for 42 months. Jesus words had pruned Peter and cleaned him as a vine is cleaned and pruned. Peter’s fears were unfounded of course. Jesus had only love and acceptance in his heart towards Peter. He sees us clean and complete and is not searching for dirt to accuse us with.
This is how we, in love, see each other as well.
Washing each others feet is to gently remove the grime from the walk in the world and to remind each other that we are completely clean, we are Holy and righteous still, we are filled full with Jesus still, we are redeemed and fully forgiven.