The Message of The Washing of Feet :: By Dave Hubley

(There is a special message at the end of this article for those who might happen to read this and do not have Jesus in their life and are looking for peace and a way to better understand the present-day insanity and confusion.)

Those of us who are Christ-worshipping, spiritually born-again Christians are all familiar with the record of Jesus washing the feet of His disciples in the upper room the night He was arrested.

The recent Super Bowl ad by the “He Gets Us” group has caused quite a stir for several reasons. I think the “stir” might be a good thing as it raises the Name of Jesus in a decidedly un-Godly world and causes no small amount of discussion involving Him.

We know that God Almighty knows the innermost thoughts and attitudes of the human heart, and so knows every motive that exists in the execution of every human action as well. The question for us is: what is the real motivation and the real intended message of the “He Gets Us” advertisement? The Gospel account of this event relates the following:

“So He got up from the supper, laid aside His outer garments, and wrapped a towel around His waist. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and dry them with the towel with which He was girded” (John 13:4-5). Emphasis added by me.

The very next sequence of verses provides a very critical message:

“But when he came to Simon Peter, this disciple asked, ‘Lord, are you going to wash my feet?’ Jesus answered, ‘You don’t really know what I am doing, but later you will understand'” (John 13:6-7).

I believe that Jesus’ response prepared the way for a very important lesson for all who would ever read this Gospel account. He knew that Peter would make the next statement just as He knew Peter would deny Him three times just hours later.

‘Never shall You wash my feet!’ Peter told Him” (John 13:8).

“Jesus answered, ‘Unless I wash you, you have no part with Me'” (John 13:9).

“Jesus told him, ‘Whoever has already bathed needs only to wash his feet, and he will be completely clean. And you are clean, though not all of you'” (John 13:10). Emphasis added by me.

Despite what the ad conveys, there is no evidence that Jesus ever washed the feet of His enemies.

What is the message that was, and still is to this day, being conveyed here?

I believe it is as simple as this: The disciples had all accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior, and He knew their hearts were clean, with one exception – “though not all of you,” He added, because He knew that Judas’ heart was evil, and he was not able to be included for that reason. Ultimately, we know Judas was excluded from the Kingdom of God.

Why did Jesus say that it was only necessary for the disciples to have their feet washed?

It was customary in that culture for a host to wash the feet of anyone who came to their home as a courtesy, to remove the dirt and dust of the world from their feet.

The Bible contains many subtle messages within its pages. Many times, Jesus would convey a message by use of a parable and follow it up by saying, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

I believe the message conveyed here by the Lord was that they were already clean by virtue of their belief in Him, so it was only necessary to clean that portion of their bodies that came in constant contact with the dirt and debris of this sin-filled world.

“Unless I wash you, you have no part with Me,” Jesus said plainly.

The message here is consistent with other passages in the Bible that indicate that unwillingness to release one’s hold on the world would result in exclusion.

“But Jesus said to him, ‘No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God'” (Luke 9:62).

“But his [Lot’s] wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt” (Genesis 19:26).

“On that day, let no one on the housetop come down to retrieve his possessions. Likewise, let no one in the field return for anything he has left behind. Remember Lot’s wife!” (Luke 17:31-32). Emphasis added.

All of these teachings must be included, as God is the sole author of all Scripture.

Is there a subliminal message in the “He Gets Us” ad that teaches that Jesus will condone or overlook sin because the message of Jesus is “love thy neighbor”?

If the meaning of Love is based on what God teaches, I think there is a very serious conflict between this ad’s message and the Word of God in which Jesus said:

“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15).

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).

It is a terrifying thought to consider the words of Jesus in judgment:

“And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'” (Matthew 7:3).

Jesus also made clear that He is God:

“I and the Father are one” (John 10:30).

And He alone is the way to Salvation:

“‘Lord,’ said Thomas, ‘we do not know where You are going, so how can we know the way?’ Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you had known Me, you would know My Father as well. From now on you do know Him and have seen Him'” (John 14:5-7). Emphasis added by me.

Jesus is indeed about Love, but it is not the “love” of human construct that has sometimes come to mean so much – and oftentimes so little, in this modern age.

Jesus is also the “Lion of Judah.” He came to offer Salvation on God’s terms at His first advent, but He will return as judge of all unrighteousness at His next advent.

The crux of this article: Which Jesus does this ad depict – the fluffy, all-love and no-judgment Jesus that many people want to imagine, who just might overlook sin? Or the real Jesus as revealed by the Holy Spirit in the Word of God?

What is the motive behind producing it?

The Berean Church was noted for testing all human-delivered messages against the Word of God for Truth.

Only the True Jesus can save. Which one is presented in this ad?

I hope you will choose wisely.

The special message I promised you:

For anyone who may read this article and has not trusted in Jesus Christ and therefore has no hope or peace in your life.

You can have hope. You can have the peace that Jesus has promised to all who have made Him their Lord and Savior. The peace that passes understanding.

It requires that you come before God on His terms.

And, what are His terms according to His Word?

  • Genuine repentance (turning to God instead of continuing to reject or ignore Him).
  • Confession of sins (that you are a sinner and acknowledge that to God).
  • That you understand that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).
  • To acknowledge to God that you are unable to pay that debt.
  • Belief that Jesus Christ paid your death sentence for you on the cross.
  • To believe that Jesus is the Way, the only Way, that God has established by which humans may be saved from the consequences of their sin and rebellion.

God has made it absolutely clear that there is no one who comes before Him, under His terms, that will be refused.

  • No one: no race, no color, no country of origin, regardless of any previous belief system: no one.
  • No matter what your past sins have been, God can and WILL forgive you because He says He will.
  • Salvation is available to everyone without any exceptions.

If you put all your trust for salvation in Jesus, and Him only, you can follow that prayer up by simply saying, “Thank you, Father God, for hearing my prayer and saving me,” because we can trust Him to keep His Word. He always has. He always will.

“Truly, Truly, I say to you that he who hears My words and believes the One who sent Me has eternal life and will not be condemned. He has crossed from death to life” (John 5:24).

There are no answers and there is no hope in the world by governments, organizations, politics or politicians. There are only lies and deception. But you can have the Truth and the peace you seek.

The answers are in the Word of God—The Bible. If you ask God, with all your heart, He will hear you.

“And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).

Pro Salvator Vigilans

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