21 DAY CHALLENGE - Day 13
Day 13 – Getting Dirty
Following Jesus is somewhat of a dichotomy. While Jesus cleans up our lives, (meaning our sins are gone, our habits change, and our hearts are clean), He also asks us to get dirty. Being a Christian involves rollin’ up our sleeves and getting to work. While many people view Christianity as their ticket out of hell so they can sit back and relax, Jesus calls us to a LIFE of service.
Today you’re going to read a story about something incredible; Jesus does something that blows the minds of the disciples. What He did was not only counter-cultural, it was counter-religion. Jesus was a Rabbi (Teacher who had many followers). A Rabbi would NEVER be found rolling up his sleeves and washing his disciple’s feet, yet that is exactly what Jesus did. He was counter-culture. He was also counter-religion. Who has ever heard of a God that served the servants? Jesus IS God in the flesh, yet he knelt at the feet of HIS servants to serve.
Think about these implications. There were no socks, no showers, no paved roads, and no animal pens. All of this means the disciples feet were exposed to the dirt, the animal waste, the weather, the sweat, all of this with NO regular cleaning. You’d think Jesus would have avoided those 24 feet altogether, but He didn’t. He wrapped a towel around His waste, gathered a water basin, and washed their feet.
That’s all fine and dandy until we read verse 15. Jesus says, “I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.” I can almost hear some of you now…”SERIOUSLY? I have to go wash feet now?” Not necessarily, though if you lived in my house, you’d understand the need for my kids feet to be washed and frequently! I think Jesus was setting an example to His disciples and to us. I think He was saying, “If you want to follow me you’ve got to be willing to get dirty. You got to serve, even when it’s messy and not particularly easy.”
There’s one more thing that’s incredibly important – a detail that we have to realize. You see, it was customary within cultural circles for a guest entering a house to have his feet washed by the servant for the owner of the house, and not any servant. No! This job was reserved for the lowest man on the totem poll. This job was considered the lowest of the low and no one, including the servants, wanted this job. To have someone voluntarily wash another man’s feet would have been not only DISGUSTING, but incredibly, incredibly, incredibly TABOO!!!
Now put all of this into perspective.
Jesus = Son of God.
Jesus = Savior of the world.
Jesus = All Powerful.
Jesus = God in flesh.
Jesus = Lead servant.
Jesus = Volunteer foot washer.
Each of these is true of Jesus.
So what implications does this have for you and for me?
As we grow in our faith and follow Jesus, we must become more and more like Him. That’s really the totality of being a Christian – die to self; live for Christ; become more Christlike every day as we grow in knowledge, understanding and faith.
Here is a great place to start…
I trust you are attending church or at least considering attending. Start by asking yourself this question: “What can I do to serve in the church?” I trust you have co-workers. How can you serve your co-workers? Your friends? Your neighbors? While following Jesus means He cleans us up, it also means we’re getting dirty. Serving others, to go with yesterday’s thought, is one of your GREATEST evangelism tools. We become the hands and feet of Jesus to those around us.
How and who are you serving today?!
As you read John 13, ask yourself these questions…
1. Who am I serving? 2. How am I serving? 3. What is one way that I can serve this weekend? 4. What questions do I have?
Jesus, thank you for being the ultimate example of service. Thank you for doing the dirty work of cleaning me up. Help me to recognize who I can serve and how I can serve. Give me not only the ability to serve, but the desire to be a servant. Amen!
You can e-mail Pastor Andrew with any questions about this study: email@example.com