“The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean"

Vaclav's picture

In John 13:8 we read - "Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.”

From Jesus' words we see the great importance of being washed by him. We must be washed in order to have share with him. But what does Jesus mean by this illustration of washing the disciples feet? The whole context of this washing is played out in John 13:1-20.

Brothers, we need to seek The Physician of our souls! Do we see how sick we are – our unbelief, doubts, worry and the like; our rebellion, self-will, pride in how we deal with others; our blatant sinning at times against God, ourselves and others? Let us examine our hearts in the light of who Jesus is – Just, Holy, Merciful; and in the light of what He has done for us in His death on OUR behalf.

PONDER! Should we continue so sick, so poor, and so unclean? And he is so full of life, so rich, so holy. Can The Vine be living and us dying? What did it cost Him to unite the sinner like you and I with Himself? Do we know? Do we care?

Let’s see the lesson or picture Jesus taught His disciples in John 13:1-20. During the Feast of the Passover Jesus rises from the supper pours water in to a basin and starts washing the disciples’ feet and wipe them. He comes to Peter, but Peter refuses the Master not understanding what Jesus is doing, says,” You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answers him,” If I do not wash you, you have no share with Me.” Than Peter thinks if it must be, than I’ll get all of me washed, since all of me is dirty.

In verse 10 Jesus responds, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.” In John 15:3 Jesus says, “Already you are clean because of the word I have spoken to you.”

Firstly, all who believed and believe in Jesus to be their Redeemer are those who are COMPLETELY CLEAN. Those who have heard the Gospel of Jesus and believed in Him are justified.

Secondly, those who are thus made completely clean in God’s sight still do get their feet dirty because of dirt from within and dirt from without – THE FLESH and THE WORLD.

Thirdly, our pride like Peter’s keeps us from coming to Jesus to have our feet washed from daily use and dirt. Our pride/self-righteousness says, ‘by now I should have been less dirty, less sinful within.’ (I admit there is also great ignorance in us of how God makes us holy, namely less of self and more of Christ seen in my life, though not less of sin in our flesh, that’s why it says,” put off the old man" (not, change the old man); and "put on the new man" (not, put on the act of Christ, but let HIM live)).

Fourthly, if we don’t let Jesus wash us daily from our defilements He says, “you have no share with Me.” Precisely, it’s the benefits of His death and life that we could not share in with Him, if we don’t let Him wash us from our daily sins and shortcomings by coming, confessing and believing in the Blood of Christ to forgive and wash us.

Fifthly, don’t some of us say? ‘Lord wash all of me, I’m lost I never knew You, save me.’ That’s despair speaking, because of the unconfessed and unwashed sins from daily life accumulate and weigh us down. That in turn makes us despondent and despairing. Could it be why we feel so much darkness in our hearts at times? Look what John says in 1.John 1:6,7 that if we walk in the light we have fellowship with Him and we are cleansed continually from all sin, but if we walk in darkness we cannot have any fellowship with Him (nor with any brothers and sisters) – NO SHARE WITH HIM. No joy, no peace, no strength, no fullness of Christ to live through us in our experience can be the only result of such refusal to be washed daily by Jesus.

Sixthly, do we see that this is OUR GREAT LORD AND TEACHER that stoops down to do this humiliating washing FOR US SINNERS, that He loves to the end?

When we look at this mirror what do you and I see in our hearts? Do we come to Jesus to wash us from our daily defilement, our sinning and shortcoming of what we ought to be?

But here are other lessons to ponder in this portion of Scripture - like humbling ourselves in serving one another, and forgiving each other.

The word, “but not every one of you”, not all of you are clean", is obviously not clean, unwashed, unsaved Judas.

Dear brother/sister, let not our pride that says,’ I want to be like Jesus first and than I’ll go to Him’ stop us from coming to Him, as the hymn says,’ JUST AS I AM’. May our eyes be always on Him, not on ourselves, not on what I am, but on what He does in us and through us.

"For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen" (Romans 11:36).


Question again

The Doctor's picture

Why the feet? :)

Because they get dirty the

Vaclav's picture

Because they get dirty the easiest, just like our hearts.

Why feet? Why does washing your hands or top of head count?

The Doctor's picture

Why do you suppose that “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean", and does not include other parts of the body? Why was the feet the most important part of the body? Why didn't Jesus say 'I must wash your hands, because “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” or I have to clean your legs, because “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.”? What is so significant about the feet?