“Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all” (John 13:10).
On the very night Jesus was betrayed, Jesus – whom they call “Master and Lord,” who was the rightful King – humbled Himself to take on the role of the lowliest of servants. He who created the universe with a Word from His mouth, bent down to the floor and washed the filthiest part of His disciples’ bodies, their feet.
Yes, He gave us a pattern to follow, so that we should humble ourselves and serve one another; but he also gave us so much more. The key is found in John 13:7-8. I want you to consider a much more profound truth.
Jesus told Peter in verse 7, “What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.” To paraphrase, Jesus told Peter, You don’t understand what I am about to do, but you will soon.
What was Jesus about to do? Yes, He was about to wash Peter’s feet, but Peter could understand that part. What was Jesus about to do, on the night He was betrayed, that His Disciples could not understand yet, but would understand later?
Before I give you the answer, let’s look at what Jesus told Peter in the next verse, “If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me” (John 13:8b).
How could Jesus washing Peter’s feet be a determining factor in whether or not Peter had a “part” with Jesus? I want you to consider the fact that what Jesus was really getting at was not about washing Peter’s feet.
Jesus was about to go to the Cross and die for Peter’s sins, so that Peter could be made clean where he was the most filthy, in his soul. Jesus is the promised Messiah. He is the King. He will reign in His Kingdom on a Throne. But how could Peter have understood that first Jesus would need to die?
The foot-washing was an object lesson that not only taught the disciples to humble themselves and serve each other, following Jesus’ example – the foot-washing was also a foreshadowing of what was about to happen, and its significance. Jesus needed to wash us of our sins before we could have a “part” with Him in His Kingdom. They could don’t understand it yet, but they would after His Resurrection, after His Ascension, after Pentecost.
That same Peter preached boldly about what Jesus had done for us to make us right with God. Jesus did not make a way for us to wash ourselves; He washed us Himself. He did not come to give us a good opportunity; he came to give us the Good News.
The Good News is that, for those whom Jesus has chosen (verse 18), He has made us clean. What He did on the Cross for us has made us right with God.
Praise God, I am clean! Are you?
Jesus told His Disciples in verse 10, “ye are clean, but not all.” He was referring to Judas, who had not been chosen. Those who are His, who belong to Him, know His voice and follow Him, and do not turn away to follow another.
If that is you, then praise God with me. Christ has made you clean!