And during supper Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. (John 13:2b-5)
I never saw this event of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet reenacted until my first year in seminary. When I heard that our Maundy Thursday service was going to include foot washing, I was more than skeptical. And when I learned that certain students would be chosen to represent the whole community, I hoped that I was not going to be one of them.
That hope was not realized; for, in fact, I was chosen to be washed by our Old Testament professor. I was uncomfortable as I walked to the designated chair, embarrassed as I took off my shoes and socks, and overwhelmed as the professor began to wash my feet. As the washing and drying unfolded, first one foot and then the other foot, I began to cry. At first, I didn’t understand why I was so deeply moved, but then I did. It was not simply the professor who was washing my feet, it was Jesus. It was not simply the student next to me who was being washed, it was Jesus. Jesus was right there in our midst; both washing and being washed.
Without in any way dismissing or diminishing all that Jesus went through during His last week, let’s not pretend that we don’t know what happened at the end of all those horrific events—that God the Father raised Jesus from the dead.
Because Jesus was raised, He is with us; and because He is with us, what Jesus did for those disciples, He wants to do for us. Which means that Jesus wants to wash us, just like He washed them.
As you imagine Jesus washing you during these challenging days as we face this epidemic together, what do you need for Him to wash away? Fear? Dread? Worry? Paralysis? Again, as you imagine joining Jesus in the washing party that has never ended, remember that not just your feet are in His hands, but your whole life.
When we wash ourselves, we feel renewed, restored, and refreshed. As Jesus washes you, how do you need Him to renew you with faith, restore you with courage, and refresh you with peace?
As you consider being washed by Jesus, I pray that you are filled with hope. As you contemplate being renewed, restored, and refreshed by Jesus, I pray that hope just washes over you. When our worries and anxieties threaten to overwhelm us, let Him wash some of our burdens away with His grace. When we are feeling empty and drained, let Him restore us with His presence. As you join Jesus in the washing party, don’t be surprised if tears of gratitude and joy begin to roll down your face.
- What do you hope Jesus will wash away?
- How do you need Jesus to renew, restore, and refresh you?
- When Jesus had finished washing them, He asked them to wash each other. How can we if not wash, then have holy regard for each other during this time?
3 thoughts on “Being Washed By Jesus”
I hope and pray Jesus helps us all wash away our theological arrogance and denial, a denial masked in our respective political party affiliations. choosing party platforms over Anglican positions(Aka “pick and choose”)
Powerful!I love the way you ask reflection questions that bring your message to our hearts.
I had the joy and privilege of washing my husband’s feet. He is ill and it was truly an act of love…very moving and emotional.Servanthood-so much of Christ’s message. Thank you! Leigh Anderson
Years ago when Promise Keepers were very active, I received an email from a man that I did not know who lived somewhere in New York. He said he wanted to ride his Harley Bike to Houston to attend a Promise Keepers Convention. He said he had asked many men in the Katy area if he could park his bike in their garage but had not gotten any takers. I gulped and said, sure park your bike in my garage. We were to meet in a well known fast-food restaurant in Katy at a certain time. I asked, “how will I recognize you?” He said easy, I have tattoos all over my body. The time came, we met and he was easily recognized. He parked his bike at my garage and I asked him if he would like to go with a group from my church that was going to the same event. He said sure. Our group met and we all went together to Promise Keepers. After the event he asked, may I go to church with you tomorrow. I said sure. We sat next to each other and went up together to take communion. When the wine was given, I noticed he did drink his until I had mine. Before I brought my cup to my mouth, he touched me and looked into my eyes and said “do you really know how much Jesus loves you?” Tears quickly filled my eyes. That has only happened once in my life to me and I shall never forget it. The washing of the feet to me is a very similar feeling. The times that I have had the pleasure to wash another feet, I always tell them… “Do you know how much Jesus Christ loves you?” Tears fill my wash basin!