Wednesday, April 14, 2021
Within the next few weeks several things will begin to happen. Camping season will begin. Golf season will begin in earnest. Fishing season will open. The repaving of our driveway will be done. Several trees need to be cut down before the driveway is done so they don’t damage the new one when they fall. The lawn needs to be fertilized, and based on the early spring the lawn mower will need to be fired up. The next few weeks are going to be busy.
Last Saturday I did a big job of moving and restacking my wood pile so I’m ready for the camping season. Now there is space to add more wood as I cut down more trees. When I headed for the house, I saw that I was dirty. Before I got to the garage I brushed off all the residue that had clung to my clothes as I carried the wood. I took off my shoes and left them in the garage. I took off my grubby old sweatshirt and hung it on the hook above the lawn mower. Then I went to the laundry room sink and washed my hands. I declared myself clean enough to eat lunch. The only exposed part of me that had gotten dirty was now clean.
As we study the book of John together, it has been interesting to see how the Apostle carries over themes from one scene to the next. In the upper room, Jesus had washed His disciple’s feet. Peter had resisted, but then invited Jesus to wash all of him. Jesus informed Peter that once you have been fully bathed, you only need to wash the parts that were exposed to dirt. Jesus told Peter he was already clean.
Now, in John 15, as the entourage walks toward the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus again declares that the disciples are clean. As He speaks of the Vinedresser’s role to lift branches that have fallen and clean them so they can produce fruit, He reminds the disciples that they are already clean.
John 15:3 “Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.”
Let us not overestimate the words of Jesus by declaring that they clean everyone who hears them. But let us also not underestimate the power of the words of Jesus to make clean all those who believe them and abide in them. There is no universal salvation just because Jesus spoke. But there is also no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus and have been cleansed by His words.
I believe it would make an enormous difference in our attitude if we started every day by praising Jesus for making us clean before the Father. I believe we would be different people if every day we would confess to Jesus the parts of our lives that were exposed to the dirt of sin and ask Him to wash those parts in the cleansing water of forgiveness.
Years ago, I was a part of a church that had a large contingency of people who believed that if any part of their life was exposed to sin, then they had to be completely washed again. Any dirt made them lose their salvation. What a tragedy to live life that way. We have been permanently cleansed when we were bathed in the Living Word. We do not and cannot lose His eternal cleansing.
However, we do get dirty. Take all your dirt to Jesus. He will wash your feet.