Thursday, September 3, 2020

The Light of Community - John 13

A relatively new believer, zealous in his pursuit of God and with genuine concern that he not waver in his resolute decision to follow Christ asked, “I was forgiven when I made my way down to that altar. Now I’ve been far from perfect since then. Don’t I need to be saved again?” I had just wrapped up a teaching on Mark 10 where Jesus looks into the eyes of the rich young man inquiring about eternal life. He apparently sees his sincerity and his pure motive and “loves him.” Now looking at this gentleman, I feel much the same way. He’s done with falling short, with missing the mark. Sin has had it’s way with him long enough and he’s over it. Now with earnest ambition he’s resolved that he doesn’t want to carry the weight of it around any longer than he has to and, if that means kneeling at an altar to be saved every week, he’d gladly do it. It was with great joy that I shared with him the story of Peter’s foot washing experience with Jesus. I’m sure he could relate to Peter’s first response to Jesus when he approached with a basin of water and a towel tied around his waist. “You shall never wash my feet.” In other words, it’s far beneath you, as I’m so filthy and you’re so pure. But when Jesus explains the need to be washed clean, it’s without hesitation and with much zeal that Peter blurts out, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” I love Peter’s passion, much like that of the gentleman now posing this question about being saved again after another messy week of living loved. Jesus clears it up for as all. “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean.” He’s telling you and I that life is messy business but when washed us clean of the mess, we’re completely clean. Now we’ll walk from time to time in areas that will get our feet dirty but, day-by-day, we’ll learn to walk the cleaner paths avoiding the muck especially the muck that’s dirtied our feet in the past. Then the clincher: He puts the maintenance of our spiritual hygiene, the cleansing of our feet into the context of community when He says that we should wash each other’s feet. It’s the baring of our souls and the bearing of each other’s burdens that continuously lifts the weight of sin, freeing us all from it’s dark grip in the light of community.

The Royal Treatment - John 13

One of our family scripture readings during Advent is John 13. It's fun to talk with my kids about all that we can learn from Jesus'...