Jesus washed the disciples’ feet. Why? Because they were dirty from walking on the road. He wants to wash our feet, too, for walking in this world.
10 Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, John 13:10
Life is messy. Relationships are messy. Jesus never asked us to keep ourselves clean, but to keep ourselves holy. But, even if we fail to keep ourselves holy, He promises to help us get that way again. Rather than being afraid of becoming unholy, we need to focus on what He has asked us to do. So what if we mess up? We mess up all the time already. We might as well mess up trying to do the right thing. And, boy, have I done some lulu’s! Yet, here I am still serving the Lord.
Let’s look at a teaching of Jesus when He was instructing His disciples. He and three of His disciples had just come down from the Mount of Transfiguration and found the other disciples arguing with a man. They couldn’t drive out the evil spirit in his son. Jesus did. Then,
19 Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”
20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:19-20
29 He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer. Mark 9:29
There are a couple of things to derive from this passage:
- Faith as small as a mustard seed means that we will try. All Jesus asks is that we try. He will then empower us (with His holy Spirit), teach us (how to be like Him), rebuke us (when we go too far), correct us (when we have it wrong), train us (for the next time), refine us (getting rid of any foreign material), sharpen us (to hone us), and encourage us as we work toward holiness, purity and righteousness (all godly traits).
- Prayer entails interaction with the Father through the Son by way of the Holy Spirit. It’s a relationship built on communication. We were never meant to move mountains or cast out demons by ourselves; neither were the disciples. It’s always been a dual effort. Jesus’ yoke (Matthew 11:28-30) is made for two people, you and Him.
Let’s quit worrying about our holiness and be about the Father’s business. Rather than segregate, let’s unify over Christ and His message for the world.
Abba, when will we learn that drawing unhealthy boundaries instills fear in folks, both those on the inside as well as those on the outside? I like Your message so much better: “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3). Help me make every effort, Abba. Amen.