Let Jesus Do The Dirty Work

He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” 7 Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” 8 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.”9 Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” 10 Jesus said to him, “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.” John 13:6-10

It’s Maundy Thursday, the day we commemorate the Last Supper before Jesus’ crucifixion. At this Passover Meal, Jesus did something shocking: he washed the disciples’ feet. Washing dirty, crusty, worn feet is equivalent to me changing dirty diapers. 

"Did we need to change your diaper?”—me

*looks straight at me with raised eyebrows* “Nope!”—Little E

"Hmm, I think we do. Let’s get you cleaned up.”—me

“NOOOOOO!!!" *runs away*—Little E

This is the first time our daughter lied to us. Almost everyday, she denies she needs a diaper change and runs in the other direction.

I try and reason with her, “Why don’t you want to get clean? It feels so good to get clean and dry!"

Then it hit me. At the IF:Gathering, Jennie Allen talked about offering our dirty feet, or our sin, to Jesus so He can wash us clean with His righteousness. I put myself in Peter’s shoes, in my daughter’s diapers, and realized I do the same things and deny Jesus when He tells me I need to get cleaned up. 

Offering Dirty Feet

Changing diapers requires the child to:

  • Stop playing
  • Lay down
  • Be still
  • Let someone else do the dirty work

Offering my sin to Jesus requires me to:

  • Stop in the middle of my "productive task"
  • Get in a low posture of prayer
  • Remain still in my soul
  • Humbly let Jesus do the cleaning instead of trying to fix the problems myself 

Jesus says “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean” (John 13:10) because when we receive salvation in Christ, we are cleansed in the waters of baptism. We are completely clean. But we still need to wash our feet on a daily basis.

Our feet travel the roads of the world. We must shake off the dust (Matthew 10:14). 

Let Jesus Do The Daily Cleansing

The necessity of a daily bath is a reminder of our need to go to Jesus in prayer and be washed from the dust of worldly desires and deeds. This regular bodily cleansing is a reminder that Jesus has made us clean from the inside out, yet we still depend on Him for our daily salvation. We cannot wash off sin with soap and water. We cannot just wipe it away and throw it in the trash. We need Jesus to do the dirty work. 

Jesus set an example for the disciples by serving them and cleaning their feet with water. Today, we are cleansed through:

The Word of God: "that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word” Ephesians 5:26

Prayer: "Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” James 4:8

Obedience in loving others: "Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart” 1 Peter 1:22

By the Word of God, we recognize we have some dirt in our lives that needs to be cleaned.

Through prayer, we submit to Jesus’ work in our lives.

We go forth in obedience and love others from the inside out.  

I may have grown out of diapers, but I haven’t grown out of sin.

Jesus is the one who bends low to purify us. We have to stick out our dirty feet and set aside our pride so we can be clean. In turn, we get to go in His humble Spirit and serve others. 

For Deeper Thought

What do you need to offer to Jesus for cleansing?

What is keeping you from admitting you need His help? 

What are you trying to do on your own instead of giving it to God?