Washbasin and towel
June 18, 2020
Compelled by Christ’s love, in last week’s GHPL we prayed to prepare a Highway of Love on which Muslim men, women and children will run to Jesus, compelled by His love. Seeing as God sees and understanding His heart on the matter is the first part of preparing the highway; praying is the second part. What comes next?
God is always the initiator of reconciliation. He loved us before we loved Him (1 Jn 4:10). Through the prophet, He described His own relentless commitment to reconciliation with Jacob’s descendents this way: “I revealed Myself to those who did not ask for Me; I was found by those who did not seek Me. To a nation that did not call on My name, I said, ‘Here am I, here am I.’ All day long I have held out My hands to an obstinate people, who walk in ways not good, pursuing their own imaginations—a people who continually provoke Me to My very face…” (Isa 65:1-3a). (His approach here also applies to how He pursues all people.)
He revealed Himself to the people, persistently called out to them and ultimately took action by sending His only begotten Son to them—Almighty God in what we might call an accessible format. The Word walked on earth as a man, experiencing what we experience and speaking of the Kingdom of Heaven in familiar terms such as bread, wine and water, fig trees, flowers and fields. Then, “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Ro 5:8).
On the night Jesus was betrayed, He gave His disciples an example to emulate and which John the Apostle described as “loving [His disciples] to the end” (Jn 13:1). “Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper…and taking a towel, tied it around His waist. Then He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around Him” (Jn 13:3-5).
I’ve participated in ceremonial foot washings and several times followed spontaneous instructions from the Holy Spirit to wash someone’s feet. In a WhatsApp discussion about how Christians should respond and act in current controversies, an Irish intercessor was reminded of a previous encounter with the Lord regarding foot washing. She wrote,“I once had a dilemma re [some folks from a particular ethnic group] in our town and members of our own local church. I wasn’t sure where I should stand. Both sides of the coin had validity. I pressed in and sought the Lord. He said, so clearly, ‘Stand with a basin in one hand and a towel across your arm. Be prepared to wash the feet of all mankind.’ That seemed to settle my heart for all time. We are living in times of the basin and towel, Jesus our precious beautiful example. May we live Jesus, and may we allow Him to increase the capacity of our hearts.”
Lord, as Your ambassadors we represent You to the world, and in this world, we are like You (2 Co 5:14, 1 Jn 4:17). You left the comfort and beauty and perfection and fellowship of heaven to come into our world to carry a washbasin and towel, and a cross.
- Forgive us for thinking we deserve better than You, our Master (Jn 13:16).
- Break our hearts for what breaks Yours.
- Help us choose courage over timidity, investing our lives over saving them, inviting others into Your Kingdom over settling comfortably in our own nests (2 Ti 1:7, Mt 16:24-27, Mt 28:19-20).
- Show us where and how to carry our washbasin and towel.