Jesus replied, “A person who has bathed all over does not need to wash, except for the feet, to be entirely clean. And you disciples are clean, but not all of you.” For Jesus knew who would betray him. That is what he meant when he said, “Not all of you are clean.” (John 13:10-11)
Relate: I hate reading the end of the book first. I much prefer reading a story than watching the movie but if I did happen to see the movie first I will probably never touch the book. Why? They say hindsight is 20/20 but not really. Sometimes, knowing the outcome takes us away from the adventure and the mystery of the moment. It is why I never bothered to go see Titanic. Why bother? We all know the ship is going to sink. Just think about it. These characters are all running around falling in love, kissing, and trying to hide from the bad guys. (I’m sure there were bad guys in the movie, there always are) In the moment it probably seemed tremendously adventurous and exciting, especially when the ship started to go down. Oh no! What’s going to happen? Yes, yes, we all know she’s going to live. He’s going to die, but he will be a “memory treasured forever”. No surprises there.
No surprise for us reading John either. We all know that Jesus is talking about Judas. This guy is about to betray Jesus for a few bucks, but at that point only he and Jesus knows what is going down. I wonder what the disciples were all thinking when Jesus said, “Not all of you are clean.” Jesus had demonstrated plenty of times at this point that He sometimes knows what is going on in a person’s mind. How many of the other disciples had things going on up there they would rather Jesus not know about. Simon the Zealot had more than a few unsavory connections. Andrew probably was thinking a few unkind words bouncing around regarding his brother who can’t keep his mouth shut… again. John was a teenager. Need I say more? Beyond that, he and his older brother James both had reputations for their tempers. How many of them were thinking, “Is Jesus calling me unclean?” For that matter was Judas thinking, “Does He really know or is He fishing? If He knows why hasn’t He done anything? Have I been busted?”
React: There is a beauty in mystery of the moment. It is hard for us now to grasp it for the drama that was being played out in that upper room, but it is abundantly real in our own lives. If I were there in that upper room, would I be wondering if Jesus might be speaking about… yah, you know. That. I know with confidence who I am in Christ. His Spirit testifies with my spirit that I am a child of God. I like how John Piper puts it. There are two ways we can know we are God’s children. 1) We have a desire for more of God and 2) we are at war with sin. Not that we’ve eradicated it from our lives. You might have, but me? There are still battles to be fought. There are still some battles I’ve lost. If I were in that upper room, would I be wondering if Jesus was referring to one of those battles I sometimes feel I am losing?
God, I know who I am in You. I know I have been justified, washed, forgiven. Thank You for that. I do not deserve it but You have lavished Your grace on me anyways. I am clean, but sometimes, God, I need to get my feet washed again. The road I’ve traveled in my daily walk isn’t always the path You have set out for me. My feet are a bit dirty and I might even have stepped in some… you know. That. Please forgive me again. Search me out. Wash me. Cleanse me again. Then please give me the passion of heart and discipline of mind to stay on Your path. I want to glorify You in everything I do.