Molly is a very clean little dog – except for her paws!

I bath her every second week, an event which, strangely enough, she doesn’t mind. Fortunately, she doesn’t smell like a dog and she doesn’t have the habit of rolling in smelly stuff, so a fortnightly bath is sufficient to keep her sweet and clean.

However, we live in a granny flat on a property which is enclosed in high walls and secure gates. Most of the back and front yards are covered with thick grass which is riddled with earthworms. They push their casts up everywhere, creating muddy blobs all over the lawn when it rains.

Molly has the freedom to run and explore the garden to her heart’s content, sniffing out geckos and frogs to chase and digging in the lawn for crickets (which she is learning not to do). Rain is no deterrent although she is not a “water” dog. Rain or shine, she spends ages traversing the same patch of lawn and getting her little paws well and truly muddied.

Old towels at the back and front doors soak up most of the dirt but, when we go to bed, I make sure that her paws are clean!

This little ritual reminds me of the scene in the Upper Room on the eve of Jesus’ death. There was no servant to wash the disciples’ dusty feet and they were too high and mighty to do the lowly task for one another. So, they sat down on cushions on the floor to eat the Passover with their Master with their unwashed feet very much in evidence!

Jesus must have been very aware of the omission (and the smell) and waited for an opportunity to teach His disciples a very practical lesson. They were constantly arguing about their pecking order and chose to ignore Jesus’ repeated lessons on true greatness. Here was an opportunity to put into practice what He had taught them, but not one of them of them chose to use it.

So, Jesus took off His outer garment, picked up the bowl and pitcher of water and proceeded to do the task of a slave, As usual, there was no reaction from most of them except from Peter. He remonstrated with Jesus, probably feeling guilty that he had not done what Jesus was doing.

However, out of this altercation came a beautiful object lesson for every one of His followers. Peter said, “Never, Lord!” Jesus responded, “If I don’t wash you, you have no part with me.” Characteristically, then Peter replied, “Lord, give me a bath!” Again, Jesus responded, “You are clean, Peter, except for your feet.”

What did He mean? Peter had received the “washing with water through the Word” of which Paul spoke in Eph. 5:26. His sins were forgiven through the blood Jesus would shed on the cross. He had received the gift of righteousness which God gives to those who believe in His Son. However, through his fleshly nature, he still picked up dirt from his everyday interaction with people and circumstances.  All he needed was to have feet cleansed from the defilement of his daily “walk” in the world.

Perhaps his fellow disciple, John, remembered Jesus’ words when he wrote,

If we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, cleanses us from all sin….If we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness, (1 John 1:7, 9 – NLT).

Yes, Jesus assures us that we are clean through His Word because we believe in Him, but we need the constant cleansing of our “feet” by His forgiveness though His blood so that our fellowship with Him will remain transparent and uninterrupted.

Have you, like Molly, muddied your “paws” today? Allow Jesus to wash your feet. Then there will be no hindrance to your intimacy with Him. You can go to bed and sleep in peace in His loving presence because His blood keeps on cleansing you from all sin.

Categories: Christian Life Tags: , , ,

Luella Campbell

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