Jesus exhorts each one of us to love one another. He says at John 13:34.
This is not something Jesus expected his disciples to take lightly. We see this when he explained in greater detail in the same chapter, at verses 12 through 17. But let’s go back a few verses to get the context of what Jesus is speaking about before focusing on my point, which is in verses 12 through 17. Starting at verse 3, it reads
We as Christians must understand the significance of Jesus’ actions in these verses. So, let’s take a moment and break that down because I want to lead you all somewhere that impacts us as Christians in today’s modern times.
the washing of feet in bible times
In Bible times, in the region in which Jesus lived, much of the land was dry and dusty. To get around from one place to another, people often traveled by horses, donkeys, an animal pulling a cart, or they walked. The majority of people walked to go from one destination to the next. Along these paths that people walked, many animals, such as camels, oxen, donkeys, and sheep were led down these same roads. As these animals traveled from one place to another, they left behind gifts along the way – poop to be more exact. Eventually, carts would pass along these same paths, spreading these animals’ poop everywhere. It was almost impossible for anyone to avoid stepping in these animals’ poop on their journey.
Between the dusty roads and animals’ poop, the citizenry’s feet became very nasty and smelly by the time they reached their destination. This is why the washing of one’s feet was such an important practice in the Jewish custom during Bible times. It was a hospitable act to wash the feet of another considering the mess their feet would encounter on their journeys from one place to another. As we further discuss this talking point, we need to be mindful that the washing of one’s feet was such a nasty job during ancient times that in most households, this duty was relegated to the slaves.
So, here, in chapter 13 of John, Jesus is teaching us, his disciples, a very important lesson – how to love. In fact, Jesus explains it this way in verse 7.
Jesus was insinuating that we as his disciples do not know how to properly show our brothers and sisters in the faith love. And we don’t. This is well illustrated by how we gossip about one another. Create mountains of YouTube content trashing one another while collecting a paycheck for our so called good deed. The apostle John says it this way. “…Yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service” (John 16:2). As Jesus said, we have no clue how to properly love one another.
The washing of the feet is a credible aspect of their culture because of the lesson it teaches us. Jesus goes and says in the following verses.
Jesus was quantifying the act of washing someone’s stinky, dirty feet as an acceptable and expected practice that should be done by all Christians. In fact, Jesus took it a step further in verse 34. He said
A new commandment or new standard – a new rule or example Jesus was giving all his disciples. Let’s go back to verse 15. In that verse, Jesus said he had given us an example to follow, imitate, mimic, copy, repeat in our actions toward all our brothers and sisters. But let’s not miss something else Jesus is showing us through his instructions of the washing of the feet.
Notice who is doing the washing in John 13. Not a slave or one of Jesus’ disciples. But Jesus! Their leader. The King of the universe. The one that all men will bow down to. It was the head, their leader who laid his garment aside, took a towel and girded himself, poured water into a basin, and, without asking, began to bathe the feet of each of his disciples. WHAT A LESSON OF LOVE!
Jesus as king lowered and humble himself before each one of his disciples to take a position of what was relegated to slaves, and washed his disciples' filthy feet as a gesture of hospitality. But more importantly, he was displaying his love for each one of them. We need to be mindful, that Judas Iscariot was one of the ones present whom Jesus feet he washed.
Now, let’s stop right there for a minute, and let’s be honest for a second. Can any of us today, imagine any pastor in our local churches, or the prophets or apostles of today, will be willing to do such an act toward any of their members? I do not think so. In fact, I know they wouldn’t. With today’s breed of pastors, prophets, and apostles, they would see this act of love beyond them. Although their King, Jesus, would perform such an act even today without hesitation. Now, let’s bring this loving act of washing one’s feet to a modern application for Christians today.
Correction Is an act of love
Now a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John. So he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.
Therefore, Jehovah GOD, as YOUR humble servant who seeks to please YOU. I will obey and am obeying as YOU have instructed me. For YOU have given to the sons of man the earth. For YOU said in YOUR Word, “… the earth He has given to the children of men” (Psalm 115:16). Therefore, YOU created us to have dominion over everything on the earth (Genesis 1:28). YOU said, whatever we bind on earth, it will be bound in heaven, and whatever we loose on earth, it will be loosed in heaven (Matthews 18:18). YOU have given us the authority to capture a thing and it will be done in your name. (Compare to Luke 10:19; John 14:12; Acts 1:8).
So, FATHER, in the name of YOUR Son, Jesus, the Christ, may it be a witness today, as I execute not my judgment but YOURS. For not my will but YOURS. Therefore, I declare that it may be so, that anyone who calls themselves a son or daughter or a child of GOD who continues to speak against their brother or sister in the faith unlawfully that your judgment will fall upon them and their households like Korah, who spitefully spoke against your chosen vessels Moses and Aaron. (See Numbers chapter 16). Korah, this foolish man, and those who followed him refused to heed the counsel and warning of Moses. They refuse to repent. As a result, YOU FATHER suddenly split opened the ground beneath them, and the earth swallowed Korah, his entire household, and the household of those who chose to follow his nonsense. The Scriptures say that these rebellious individuals, their family members, and those associated with them, all went into the grave alive and their belongings. Then the earth closed over them and all of them vanished. And YOU did not stop there. As soon as the ground closed up, YOU sent fire from the heavens and allowed 250 men who were offering incense in support of Korah to burn them up (Numbers 16:31-34).
FATHER, may it be so today for those who continue to unlawfully spill toxic words against their brothers and sisters for a YouTube or Facebook commission. May it be so towards those who speak out by their own will concerning their brothers and sisters and not YOUR will. May it be so against those who refuse to follow the counsel of YOUR words as stated at Matthew chapter 18, verses 15 through 17. May it be so for those who refuse to show grace towards their brother or sister that error in their teaching of YOUR Word. May it be so for those who still to this day refuse to repent for speaking against their brothers or sisters in the faith unlawfully. In Jesus’ name, Amen and amen.
This blog is really not about me, but more about my Father and our relationship. How we interact with one another and my response to His prompting. To be honest, at the moment, I do not know what to expect from this blog. I have no idea how personal I will get, what exactly I will share, and how often I will do it. But one thing is for certain. I will share what God places on my heart to share.