Sunday, December 04, 2011

His Washing

On Friday, the Lord blessed me with getting to spend about six hours with a Christian lady at work. I had only met her once before and didn't know that she was a Christian, but my boss asked if both of us would deliver test materials because the guy that usually does it was gone. It was such an incredible blessing. I don't think we got more than a mile from the office before both of us were discussing things of the Lord. It was such an incredible encouragement to me to hear her story of God's sovereignty in providing this job for her and how God had used her getting this position to answer my prayers concerning a possible change in my job description at work. Long story short, I came away from Friday seeing another glimpse into just how brilliant God is in His plan. He is never doing just one thing... He is doing infinitely many things all at the same time for His glory and our good. What a brilliant God we serve! Thank You, Lord for doing things Your way in Your timing!

The sermon today gave me some new insights into Jesus washing the feet of Peter. I had never seen it this way before. Take a look at John 13:1-8.
Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. During supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray Him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth from God and was going back to God, got up from supper, and laid aside His garments; and taking a towel, He girded Himself. Then He poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. So He came to Simon Peter. He said to Him, “Lord, do You wash my feet?” Jesus answered and said to him, “What I do you do not realize now, but you will understand hereafter.” Peter said to Him, “Never shall You wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.”
The message that I have generally got from this passage is that Jesus was a servant leader, and I should be as well. I was challenged today to see it from a new perspective--to see it as an event in the life of Peter.

Peter was the disciple that rebuked Jesus when Jesus was telling his disciples that He was going to die in Mark 8:31-33. Peter had a plan... a plan that involved Jesus not dying. But, God's ways are higher than man's ways. When Jesus told Peter that he could have no part with Him if Jesus wasn't allowed to wash him, Jesus was not talking about the physical washing of feet, but rather the washing of the heart which was about to take place at the cross. It is humbling to have God wash your feet, but infinitely more humbling to have God die because of your sin. Jesus was using this to prepare Peter's heart for the washing of his heart by His blood. We see just following this that Peter still doesn't want Jesus to die... he cuts off the ear of the servant which Jesus heals and tells Peter to put away the sword. Peter didn't understand God's big purpose. Peter then seems to give up when he denies Christ. Is this not far too often our reaction when God's plan doesn't line up with our own? When He does things in different timing than we expect or in a different way? We lose hope and give up when He is in the midst of doing His perfect work.

If God would have given Peter his way, he would have spent eternity in hell as would the rest of us. We see once again that God is so infinitely wise and His plans are so perfect. His plans don't line up with our expectations and ideals, but His plans are always best! Oh for grace to trust Him more! This same Peter later rights in 1 Peter 5:5...
...Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
Peter experienced the grace and faithfulness of God through God doing things His way. May God give us that same grace to believe with all of our heart that His ways are always best. That belief will produce the fruit of obedience and submission to Him regardless of what His plan is... because His plan is perfect.

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