Willing to be Washed
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 22 | JOHN 13:6-8
Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” John 13:8
It’s a humbling, maybe even humiliating, experience to
have someone wash you. Nurses know the awkwardness as well as the importance of bathing patients who cannot bathe themselves. And those who have broken an arm, leg, or hip understand only too well how that fracture can prevent you from fulfilling the basic task of washing yourself.
This is also true in the life of faith. Most of us cherish our independence. We are doers. We are achievers. We resent needing to rely on others for things we think we can do ourselves. Yet the truth is that we are broken because of sin. The Bible teaches that in order to enter into the fullness of life that God intends for us, we need to be washed clean. But we are unable to do that for ourselves.
When Jesus attempted to wash Peter’s feet, Peter vehemently refused. We could translate his refusal like this: “You will never ever wash my feet! Never!” Peter thought he was saying the proper thing. It didn’t feel right for Jesus to be acting as a servant to him. How could it be fitting for his Master to descend to such lowliness?
Jesus’ reply to Peter was also vehement. In essence, Jesus said, “If I can’t wash you, you can’t have me.” Peter needed to follow Jesus’ example and humbly submit himself. He needed to be washed, and he needed to receive the forgiveness of sin that Jesus was offering.
Just like Peter, we need that too.
So give in. Be washed. And receive fullness of life!
God of grace, wash me clean of all my sins. Help me walk in humility and receive the fullness of life that you offer through Jesus. Amen.
—WRITTEN BY RUTH BOVEN. TODAY Lent 2021