Recently I found myself on my face, weeping at the feet of Jesus, pleading for forgiveness and mercy. That besetting sin, which I so despise, had once again reared its head. How many times would He continue to forgive me? Shame and hopelessness gripped me.
Knelt on the floor, I was suddenly struck with a vivid picture from John 13—the story of Jesus washing the disciple’s feet. Into His pure hands, Jesus takes their grimy feet: pours water and rubs their soles. Dirt releases at the touch of His hand. Jesus then pulls their now-clean feet close into Himself, into the drying towel He’d wrapped around His waist.
A particular facet of this story spoke to me as it never had before. Why had Jesus even bothered washing their feet? He knew as soon as supper ended, their feet would leave His presence and tread on dusty pathways again. This is precisely why Jesus ends the foot washing by commanding His disciples to “wash one another’s feet.” He intended for this to serve as an example of an ongoing practice—continual washing of feet that would continually get dirty.
“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.” Psalm 51:1-3
Despite our best efforts, we continually sin. God knows and has an ongoing solution. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I Jn. 1:9
Don’t be like Peter, who tried to refuse the Lord washing his feet. Place your dirtiest, ugliest sins into His pure hands—allow Him to cleanse and then draw you close into Himself.