Jesus Wants to Wash Our Feet


We all long to be known, to be seen, and to be loved for who we are. Jesus aches for this very thing, and this is why Jesus Wants to Wash Our Feet.

Are you willing to be cleansed by Jesus? For him to stoop down and to wash your dirty feet? For him to come near to the parts of you that perhaps even you don’t want to look at yourself? This week Josh humbly speaks about Pride Month, LGBTQ+ loved ones, about pride in general, and about the humility of Jesus. He speaks deeply about the longing that Jesus has to cleanse us all of our dirt, our past, our hurts, our pride. He wants to enter into our pain and sin, and wash us clean.

Let us put aside everything that keeps us from allowing Jesus to cleanse us and let us wash the feet of others just as Jesus does. Are you ready to Become more Whole?


want to just honor the the reality that every single one of us, every single one of us longs to be known longs to belong, longs to be accepted longs to be affirmed, as the people we are...

So my question for you today, and one of the reason I think this comes up in my prayer last week, is one of the reasons that we would say no to Jesus washing us.

He actually desires to cleanse us from those things.


Read more about this topic at Jesus Will Wash Your Feet If…
Read Josh’s new book  Treading Boldly through a Pornographic World: A Field Guide for Parents

Click for Full Podcast Transcription

Josh 0:00
I want to start the podcast today by being just a little bit vulnerable? There’s something about me that a lot of people do not know, my close friends know, my family knows certainly those people who around me in the summertime know, when we were in sandals and flip flops and going to the pool and things like that. I have some very ugly toenails, you know, had ingrown toenails when I was in middle school and just the sequence of events after that. my toenails do not look good. My kids actually when they were little. They’d say, Dad, why? Why are your toenails made of wood? And that’s how they look to my kids. So maybe that’s part of why the story when Jesus washes his disciples feet in john 13 means so much to me. It is a profound story. I mean, I think all of us can relate to that. I mean, our feet stink, our feet are are not typically a part of our bodies that we show off. And certainly for the first century Jews who Jesus washed the feet of that would be true for them. I mean, they spent their their days walking dusty dirt roads, with rocks and dung from sheep and, and other livestock that would travel those same roads. And so when Jesus in john 13, takes off his outer garments, wraps a towel around his waist, takes a basin of water. And he goes and he washes each one of their feets each one of their feet each. How do you say he washed all their feet? It is a profound moment. And Jesus lets them know that he is he is serving them. And I just want to unpack it a little bit here. Because I think if we dive into this story, it has something for us. But I want to share it in this context. I was literally just last week I was praying a little bit about gay pride month, and I’m recording this in June 2021. And it is gay pride month, there are rainbow flags, lots of places people are posting things online. Companies are posting things. But as a devout Christian, I have different feelings about Gay Pride Month. On the one hand, I am grateful. And I do recognize and want to just honor the the reality that every single one of us, every single one of us longs to be known longs to belong, longs to be accepted longs to be affirmed, as the people we are. I recognize that I think that’s for most LGBT people. If If June if Gay Pride Month means something to them, it means that it means Hey, you know what, like, this is a time like this part of my life may have been something that was very, very difficult. I may have felt alone, a lot of my life, I may have felt ridiculed, or outside or different than in this area of my life and to feel embraced and known by people that’s meaningful. On the other hand, as a devout Christian, I adhere to and our ministry adheres to, we believe wholeheartedly in God’s design for sexuality that our sexuality is connected to our biology. And so sexual expression between a man and a woman in the context of a lifelong covenant marriage is God’s one and only place for sex between people. Because our biology plays into our design. It’s all on purpose. And it all ultimately points to a greater, something greater than even ourselves. So again, we get to Gay Pride Month, and I’m I’m praying about this last week. And like, Lord, I, you know, it’s hard to talk about these things hard to talk about them in public, there is so much room for misunderstanding. It’s such a hotbed topic, come across hateful or hurtful to people, you can also come across as too affirming and accepting of something that God does not affirm and accept. So I wanted to careful kind of what I’m saying that God does and doesn’t affirm in this. And as I’m praying, what comes to my mind is just this, just this a simple picture of Jesus, washing his disciples feet.

What does that mean for you today? What does that mean for you today? So I want to unpack it a little bit, because there are actually several different characters at the table. I mean, we highlighted three. But if you think about it, there’s actually several different kinds of responses to what Jesus does. First of all, there’s, there’s Jesus. And I think, I mean, he is He is the Lord of all He is the creator of all, if anyone deserves to be elevated to anyone deserves to have others washing his feet, it is Jesus Christ, the god man. And yet he takes off his outer robes. He throws himself in the towel and he kneels down and washes the stink in the stench and the muck off of his disciples feet. And if you think about the positioning, I mean, these guys were not sitting in chairs, they were they were reclining at the table, which means they kind of laid to the side of the table. That’s how it worked. So he’s literally putting himself in a very lowly vulnerable place. I think our feet tend to be ticklish. They tend to be rough and callous. I mean, it’s a it’s a vulnerable place to be if you’re gonna get kicked in the face. That’s one way to go like hang around some of these feet. But this is what you This does. And I can imagine even see his fingers like moving in and out of the toes of his disciples to see truly, this isn’t just for show. He’s not just making kind of a symbolic gesture, he literally is washing their feet. And the scripture say he’s washing their feet. Next person, that table we specifically notice is Peter, because john writes that when Jesus gets to Peter, Peter says, I’m not gonna let you do this, you cannot wash my feet, he objects, and we understand why me Peters always been this way. He’s kind of he speaks his mind, you know, and I imagine other people to table probably feel the same way. But Peter just lets it out. He’s like, Lord, no, like, you can’t wash my feet. If we can extrapolate on there a little bit, like, typically, it’s the servant in the house, he’s going to do this. So he’s like, you know, this is backwards. This is not the way it ought to go. But Jesus responds to him is really, really important. Jesus ultimately says to him, Peter, if you do not let me wash you, then you have no part in me. You do not let me wash you. You have no part in me. So my question for you today, and one of the reason I think this comes up in my prayer last week, is one of the reasons that we would say no to Jesus washing us. I think one is, and I think we could get this from Peter, we think that it’s, you know, God shouldn’t he shouldn’t wash our feet, we are too dirty, we are too lowly, we are too sinful. So if you’re listening today, whatever your story is, whatever your brokenness is, whatever your sin is, you’re you know, you’re aware of your the pride you have in the anger you have and the vitriol you have towards LGBT people. Or maybe you’re an LGBT man or woman, and you’ve been rebelling against God and going your own way and saying no to his design for you, or maybe something else altogether. Maybe it’s pornography or some other sin. It’s not even sexual nature. Is there a part of you that says, Lord, I can’t let you wash my feet? It’s really bad down there. It’s really dirty. I mean, honestly, whenever they do foot washings, at churches I’ve been at and I’ve only been to a couple places like this. Knowing my feet, knowing my toes, my toenails like, I really don’t want people washing my feet. I’m like, it’s embarrassing for you to wash my feet means you see this part of me that I’m least proud about? You see a part of me that says something about me. I think that I don’t want sad about me. So is there a part of you? Is there some place in your life that you say to God, no, Jesus, you can’t wash that part of me, I don’t want you to see it. Or even if you see it, I want you to see it from a distance, you know, to smell it. I don’t want you to touch that part of it. Because it’s it is that gross. Part of what happens when Jesus washes our feet. Part of what happens when the Holy Spirit moves into those places that we feel so ashamed about is we discovered that the the self hatred we have is not hatred that God has for us. He doesn’t hate us, because of the wrong things in our lives. He doesn’t hate us for our sicknesses. He doesn’t hate us for our proclivities towards sin. He doesn’t hate us for the wrong things we’ve done even the grievously wrong things we’ve done. He actually desires to cleanse us from those things. Somehow, he never loses sight of the beauty and glory that he has designed in us. And even when we get marred and mucked up, and even when our souls turn black and harden, he somehow can still see us and he desires to heal and raise us up and wash is clean, is what Jesus meant when he said, I came to seek and to save that which is lost. So is there a part of you that you’re like, God, I can’t have you do that?

Can you wash my feet? I’m too ashamed of that part of me. Would you respond to Jesus today, recognizing that if you don’t let him You have no part in him? Let him wash your feet. Another reason I think that we keep Jesus away from our feet is, is because we don’t admit we have a problem. We think No, we are the we’re on the right side of history. We are the right ones in this equation. And I think, you know, there there are places of course where we can live righteously. But even in those places, we still are prone towards pride, we are still prone towards our own ego. Benjamin Franklin once wrote something to the effect of, if I could, if I could overcome every vise, that’d be great. But if I could overcome pride, I’m afraid that I’ve overcome the vise of pride, I would be so proud about it that I would just return immediately. That’s the way pride is in our life. It just seeks seeps into our inner lives like water that seeps into brick or wood. So what are the areas of your life right now that you’re you’re so proud about You’re so certain of yourself, you’re so self righteous and that you wouldn’t allow Jesus to wash your feet. You know, one of the reasons I grieve during Gay Pride Month is because people are celebrating including people. Now I’m not just talking about LGBT people I’m talking about Christian people are celebrating something that really Jesus wants to cleanse in someone’s life. He wants to draw them closer to him closer to holiness, closer to the plan he has for them closer to restore the unity and integrity between their biology and their sexual desires, their sexual activity, whether that’s in marriage with a person the other sex for life, or if it’s in celibacy. See? So is it possible that there’s something in your life and maybe in on the other side of things, sorry. And those are things there’s there the self righteous Christians who, and you can hear it in the anger and the vitriol on their voice, where they it’s like they don’t they can’t see people who are immersed in their sin they all they see is sin anymore, all they see is, is what’s opposing them. And honestly, I don’t even think it’s just that they’re seeing their sin. I think it’s also we have a tendency not to see another person symbol, we have a seat, we have a tendency, I think in this area to see how another person’s sin is going to make my life more difficult. And I think Christians right now, honestly, devout Christians, it’s we’re living in an age where the ways of the world the views of the world, are in fact making our lives more difficult. It is more difficult to say that what God’s design is for sex and sexuality marriage these days than it used to be. It is harder to say those things because we can get cancelled, we can get scorn, we can be called hateful, all sorts of things that we that we really are not. And I think in our response to that pain, and the difficulty, that sadness of being we’re kind of suddenly outside of things, we can get angry and self righteous. But I, we know, one of the tests I have for myself is whenever I see somebody who’s opposing Christian view on sexuality, one of the questions I asked myself is, if God were to give mercy to that person, and I would find myself next to them in His Kingdom, when his kingdom comes, would I be glad that they’re there? Would I be glad for God’s mercy in their lives? Because I think that’s a posture if, if that’s true in my life, that’s a posture that we’ve wish I could say, Okay. And I’m holding that person, I’m still seeing the person. But if my response is no, I don’t want them to be there. Honestly, I think that’s a place where I feel like God, I need you to work in my life. I need you to grow my compassion to be like Christ’s compassion. I need you to grow in me a place that says, just like Jesus said, I did not come to condemn the world to save the world, Lord, I desire that all men like you will be saved, all men and women will be saved. But would you do that work in me? That’s a place where many of us need Jesus to cleanse us to wash us. Are we willing to admit that accept that and say, Yes, Lord, actually, would you wash my feet, they’ve gotten mucked up on the road. Another category of people I think they get really impacted or that we see in this parable is is Judas and not this parable. Sorry, this account Judas. Judas is one who lets Jesus wash his feet. He just plays along. It doesn’t say anything. He pretends like he’s, he’s all good. Like he’s willing. He, I mean, unlike Peter, who speaks up, Judas, let’s let that happen. But Jesus makes clear, if you read in john 13, Jesus makes clear a couple of times, that although everybody at the table is clean, there’s one of the table who’s not clean. And john MIT lets us know that it’s Judas. Judas is not clean. Not only is he not either his feet, you know that the kind of day to day grind that gets on us not clean. But there’s something even even worse about Judas that he’s he’s not clean on a deeper level. because he’d already made up his mind at the beginning of john 13. We read, he’s already made up his mind to betray Jesus. And there’s this really interesting scene later in the Gospel where

the Jesus says to His disciples, one of us gonna betray me, and his disciples don’t know who it is. And so john leans in and says, Jesus, who is it and Jesus tells john, I’m going to dip a morsel of bread. And then I’m going to hand it to the one who’s gonna betray me. And he does that. And after he does that, the scripture reads, john writes in the Gospel here, he writes, that, immediately after that, after Judas took it, Satan entered him. And then he went off. And then Jesus said, Go do what you’re gonna do quickly. And then he went off to betray Jesus. I’ve read that up until last week, and kind of always been curious about like, Jesus, what happened there? I mean, like, you gave him a morsel of bread. And then Satan entered him, like, what was going on there? I mean, did you do something Jesus? But if you read closely, that’s not what happened. That’s not what happened. to dip a piece of bread at this Passover supper and hand it to another person is a gesture of love. It is a gesture of friendship. one commentator I read suggested that the Jesus is almost like Jesus was giving, giving Judas another chance. Judas, I am your friend, I love you here. Would you receive this for me? It’s the same posture of of being willing to wash his disciples, feet mula washed Judas his feet. It’s like, will you receive this? And Judas does. Judas does, but he doesn’t change his intent. He receives it, it’s all outward show. He doesn’t really have a heart that’s for Jesus. And after he does this hypocritical move, he’s now let Jesus wash his feet. And now he’s received this, this piece of bread of friendship and love from Jesus, and he enjoys eating, that he’s taken it into himself. And we can even go a little theologically deeper and say, What’s, you know, because the bread of the Passover supper also symbolized Christ’s body. And so there’s something that Jesus are deeply wrong about what Judas is doing here, the past his posture towards Christ is wrong. And I believe that’s what opened him up to be able to be entered by Satan in that moment because he had he had been So often so dishonest about his true intent toward the Lord in a very similar way as to as to later and john when he comes to us and gives him a kiss. He’s feigning friendship and love when really His heart is is set against Jesus. And so one of the but one of the realities here is that Jesus has offered and offered and offered Judas opportunity. He has been a friend to the end. And so I’d say to you, too, or are you someone who has not been a friend to Christ? Have you really shaking your fist at him? Maybe you’ve promoted things that you know, Jesus is against deep in your heart when it’s quiet, you know, this is not what God wants for you. And yet you’ve held on to it anyway. Would you receive from Christ His washing of your feet? And would you would you be honest with him, Jesus, this is I’ve been wrong. I’ve I’ve traveled roads not to be with you, but to betray you. And would you receive from him his desire, his desire to wash you, and as he extends his his body and blood to you, and you receive it, not feigning friendship, but because of your need of a friend like Christ who washes you on the inside and out. One final thing is I close here, because I was this think about this ahead of time, one group of people especially stood out to me this month, as I was thinking about this for this podcast, I just want to speak to you for a moment. If you are a mom or a dad or a loved one, who has a friend who is LGBTQ i a plus. And you’re really very concerned right now. I just think that the Lord has a special place for you in the story. I know from so many conversations with so many loved ones that it can be a long, hard, rocky road. And there are places where you think you’re walking on level ground and all of a sudden, you’ve stepped on a hard Jagat stone in your foot hurts. Or you stubbed your toe or you just stepped in something you meant you meant to fall in love you meant to pursue your son or daughter or another loved one in love with fun, you find yourself just with a stench on your feet because you’ve walked in place he didn’t mean to walk you they’ve turned on you in some way that maybe have been a betrayal like Jesus experienced or maybe they’ve been prideful towards you in some way. I don’t know. But I just as I was seeing Jesus washing the disciples feet, I felt like he just gave me the special kind of almost like a close up view of him washing mom’s feet or a dad’s feet. And his his fingers are not just cleansing the dirt from the surface but but but digging in cleansing the dirt from from just the crevices and in between your toes, and in the hard to reach places as he washes your feet. It’s almost like he’s gently lovingly massaging your feet too. He knows the road can be hard as you both hold on to your faith in Christ. trusting him for good things trusting him for your life, trusting for your son and daughter, and also watching a son or daughter or a loved one, walk away from God and choose something that’s not of him.

And he knows the tension there. And I also see Jesus wanting wash your feet because he he knows the journey has been long and he wants to refresh your feet for the road ahead. So brothers and sisters, you know, that’s all I got. I know it’s been a little bit longer podcast today. But again, I just felt like this is on the Lord’s heart today and I wanted to share with you and I wanted to share a confessional because I’m I need Jesus cleansing just as much as anybody that’s for sure. So Jesus as a wrap up I just pray that anybody listening, that nobody listening Lord would would feel in any way a finger pointing at them, Lord, except we would all experience your gaze you’re looking upon us, Lord, your eyes ablaze of the fire, searching us. And Lord in any way that you see fault in us that you see dirt in us, you see rebellion in us or betrayal in us. Or we invite you to look upon us there. And we ask Lord for your mercy. We confess to you Lord, we are we are prideful people. And we have believed ourselves to be above the need for you to wash us. The Lord we say to you today, we need You to cleanse us or cleanse us thoroughly inside and out. That we might be more and more like you on this earth. And Lord teach us to wash each other’s feet as well. But we asked this humbly now, with great thanks and praise and worship and faith in you Lord Jesus Christ, the God who served us, not just in washing our feet, but in dying on a cross shedding your blood for us, rising from the dead and promising us that you would return for us. We praise you Lord, and the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

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