About a year ago, when the COVID-19, the Coronavirus became a worldwide pandemic, you couldn’t find hand sanitizer, cleansers or even toilet paper in any store. A cleanliness and sanitation paranoia enveloped the world. Even with wearing a mask and cleaning just about everything I touch, I still managed to catch a cold this week. It wasn’t COVID, I had no fever. Still, I don’t know where or how I caught it. Moreover, just like completely, trying to purify your surroundings it’s very much like you trying to purify your own soul. It’s a futile effort.
In some religions, there is a paranoia of sanctification and purification. People go through rituals like baby baptism, first communion, confirmation, confession, genuflecting, doing the sign of the cross, mindlessly chanting the rosary, but none of that cleanses your soul! Only the Salvation — given freely to us by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross — His blood — can purify us enough to allow us passage into Heaven.
Here in John chapter 13, Jesus shows us how to be humble and how to love one another. It’s a huge and important lesson we still all have to learn. Let’s dig in…
Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father. He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end. 2 It was time for supper, and the devil had already prompted Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. 4 So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, 5 and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him.
6 When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
7 Jesus replied, “You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.”
8 “No,” Peter protested, “you will never ever wash my feet!”
Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me.”
9 Simon Peter exclaimed, “Then wash my hands and head as well, Lord, not just my feet!”
10 Jesus replied, “A person who has bathed all over does not need to wash, except for the feet, to be entirely clean. And you disciples are clean, but not all of you.” 11 For Jesus knew who would betray him. That is what he meant when he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
12 After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing? 13 You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. 14 And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. 15 I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. 16 I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message. 17 Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them.
Jesus Predicts His Betrayal
18 “I am not saying these things to all of you; I know the ones I have chosen. But this fulfills the Scripture that says, ‘The one who eats my food has turned against me.’ 19 I tell you this beforehand, so that when it happens you will believe that I am the Messiah. 20 I tell you the truth, anyone who welcomes my messenger is welcoming me, and anyone who welcomes me is welcoming the Father who sent me.”
21 Now Jesus was deeply troubled, and he exclaimed, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me!”
22 The disciples looked at each other, wondering whom he could mean. 23 The disciple Jesus loved (John) was sitting next to Jesus at the table. 24 Simon Peter motioned to him to ask, “Who’s he talking about?” 25 So that disciple leaned over to Jesus and asked, “Lord, who is it?”
26 Jesus responded, “It is the one to whom I give the bread I dip in the bowl.” And when he had dipped it, he gave it to Judas, son of Simon Iscariot. 27 When Judas had eaten the bread, Satan entered into him. Then Jesus told him, “Hurry and do what you’re going to do.” 28 None of the others at the table knew what Jesus meant. 29 Since Judas was their treasurer, some thought Jesus was telling him to go and pay for the food or to give some money to the poor. 30 So Judas left at once, going out into the night.
Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial
31 As soon as Judas left the room, Jesus said, “The time has come for the Son of Man to enter into his glory, and God will be glorified because of him. 32 And since God receives glory because of the Son, he will give his own glory to the Son, and he will do so at once. 33 Dear children, I will be with you only a little longer. And as I told the Jewish leaders, you will search for me, but you can’t come where I am going. 34 So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. 35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
36 Simon Peter asked, “Lord, where are you going?”
And Jesus replied, “You can’t go with me now, but you will follow me later.”
37 “But why can’t I come now, Lord?” he asked. “I’m ready to die for you.”
38 Jesus answered, “Die for me? I tell you the truth, Peter—before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.John 13 NLT
I’m going to defer again to the Bible study in the free YouVersion Bible app by Levi Lusko. It perfectly explains the point I want to get across….
How many times do we try and act like we have it all together? Like we have no problems. We want the benefits of coming to God, but won’t let Him have access to the very parts of our lives that so badly need His attention. Like Peter, we don’t want our weakness and the filthiness of our feet to be seen, so we refuse to drop our guard and be vulnerable. This keeps us from humbling ourselves and admitting we have issues. We need to drop the fake smile and “doing great” routine and let others know we are hurting. Whether it’s our marriage or temper, lusts or self-centeredness, once we believe, we must allow God to cleanse us.
Now, it’s important we don’t think this must be done in reverse. Many wrongly teach that we need to get our lives together and then come to God, but God cleans His fish after He catches them. Come to him as you are—broken, dirty, trapped by sin—He just wants you to come. In the story of the Prodigal Son, when the son showed up filthy and stinking, his father didn’t say, “Whoa! Take a bath, get some new clothes, and then you can come home.” No! He ran to him, embraced him, and said, “My Son!” Then he said, “Let’s clean you up.” God accepts you as you are, but He won’t leave you that way.
Salvation is more powerful than any cleaner on the market today. Our hearts have been scrubbed, but we can still get dirty walking in the world. As with cleaning any stain, time is of the essence—the longer it sits, the worse it gets. Don’t let things accumulate and harden and calcify. Clean often. This principle is sound in just about every area of life. In our finances—don’t let the receipts get crazy; balance the book often. In exercise—don’t just hit the gym in January, do a little every day. So it is with our soul. We can’t rely on a religious booster shot, going to church on Sunday, meanwhile the stains are starting to set in. Let Jesus spot clean your heart daily. How? By spending time in His Word, through prayer, listening to worship music, downloading podcasts. You can experience digital discipleship while driving in your car! Start serving. Christianity is not a spectator sport. All of these things will help keep us unspotted from the world, but we first must be willing to risk looking bad, let down our shield, and admit we don’t have it all together.
Remember: God accepts you as you are, but He won’t leave you that way.Levi Lusko, (bold emphasis mine)
Jesus is coming back soon! Are you ready?
Getting ready for Jesus’ return doesn’t mean clean up your act. It means to let Jesus clean up your act. How do you do that?
Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.
- Believe — have Faith — that Jesus is the Christ and He died taking your sins away forever and that He rose from the dead 3 days later.
- Repent of your sins — stop sinning! Do a complete 180 in your life and surrender your life to Him.
- Be Baptized — show the world and yourself that you have died to your old life and are born again in Christ.
- Receive the Holy Spirit in your heart.
If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven after you die, or that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, this is what you have to do…