Jesus answered, “A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” John 13:10 (NIV)
Finally Peter realizes that to have part with Jesus, he needs to let Jesus clean him. So he blurts out that Jesus clean not only his feet but his hands and head too. His zeal for the Lord is keen. His heart is nearly in the right place. But even through his desire to shine for his Lord, he is still encumbered by his earthly nature. He still manages to take the worldly expression too far. He does what we too would do. He sprints ahead like an eager puppy. How often do we get caught up with something when we think it is what pleases the Lord? It could be a form of worship. It could be a giving gesture. But whatever it is, it is surely not the point. Jesus is our treasure. God is our goal. He works to tie us together with Him. The emphasis lies in the nearness of our hearts. Is it all for the purpose of bringing us honestly unto Him?
Jesus is instructing on the need for cleaning. He gives an outward expression to demonstrate what is going on inside. What is happening on a spiritual level is what is really important. The real cleaning is happening to the soul. If Jesus is what purifies us, than are we only ever clean when we are truly with Him? His Disciples were gathered around Him. They were proving their whole-hearted devotion each day. They had left family, friend and their comfortable daily lives just to be with Him always. Their cleansing was an on-going process. But it was not because of any scrubbing on their part. It was because they went out of their way to be right where Jesus is. Jesus points out to them that they are already clean? Well, nearly all of them. Does He say they are clean because of an act, or because Christ is with them? Is it because they are near enough to Him for Him to cover their uncleanliness?
Judas was there too. He was hanging out with the followers of Christ. But how close was his heart to that of our Saviour? How many of his intentions were devoted to bringing glory to God? How much of his heart still went out to the enticing aspects of this world we live in? He too was taking the whole following Jesus part too far. But was he taking too far in the wrong direction? Unlike Peter, was Judas using his association with the Lord to get a step ahead in this life? Could we today still fall into the mistake of using the name of Christianity and take it too far? If our dealings with Jesus do not bring us together with Him personally, could we miss the important point too?
Whether we find ourselves going too far in either direction, do we still have a cure? Could Jesus still be our Way? Would returning to Him in humble honesty still do the trick? If we have been caught up in frivolous washing, could we come near to Him again? If we find we are using our Christianity to feel good about ourselves and provide us a satisfactory way to enjoy this life, could we open ourselves to His cleansing? If we can restore our relationship with Him now, would He still be able to save us from taking it too far?
Dear Jesus, come to us today! Cut through any illusion we may have sold ourselves. Show us where true cleansing comes from. Then let the cleaning begin! But in our eagerness, let us never get carried away. Never let us take our eyes off You! Never let us put our faith in anything but that You will hold us! Show us again that it is Your righteousness that will shine where ours was not enough. But for that to happen we need to be oh so close to You! Draw us this close now we pray!