The Foot-Washing Kind of Love

2 Words in 1


With His Very Last Words…..

With His very last words,  Jesus was in complete control.

No one had more control over his death and dying than Christ did.

“Father!  Now, it is finished!  Now I commit My spirit unto You.  And I die!”

It is a cry of victory, this cry of our Lord Jesus Christ!  No matter what it may look like to these human eyes, look at it with the eyes of faith and see that this is the testimony of a victorious king.

There will never be a word sweeter than this word spoken by the Lord Jesus Christ.

No word ever more pleasing to God who sent Him to do this sacrifice and exchange.

No word ever sweeter to the angels who from their heavenly location, were looking down upon this work of Christ.

No word was ever more terrible to the devil and the devil’s vile minions, who knew what this meant for them, this word,  “It is finished.”

No word, is more dear to the people who now bow in awed thanks before God, no word more blessed to believing sinners than this word that we hear tonight, “It is finished.”

You may sit and bask in peace tonight.  You may be in absolute peace now, because the Lord said: “It is finished for you.  I’ve done it for you.”

It is the cry of victory.  Victory for you and for me.

Selfless, poured out, purest of passion heaped upon lavished Love.

My name…   …Your name.  Written upon His heart.

The Foot-Washing Kind of Love

During that Last Supper before He was handed over to be killed, Jesus took a towel, wrapped it around himself and put himself in the place of a slave, (not even servants would wash feet) and he got down on the floor and washed the feet of his disciples.

Jesus washed their feet and told them about being made clean by God.

Jesus washed their feet and told them about loving each other with a selfless love.

These weren’t “prewashed” fresh as a daisy smelling feet, cleaned up so they could be presented properly to the King of Kings.

These were the dirty, calloused feet, blistered and rough that had walked miles alongside him through villages, through dusty and grimy city streets and hill country. Those were the feet that Jesus washed.
We may not be able to fully understand what foot washing means in our time and day, but we can relate to being unclean with sin.  We can relate to the need for our hearts to be made clean again.

And – sometimes we try to “prewash” too.

We try to mask our sin.

We try to rinse off the dirt ourselves because we don’t want anyone, especially Jesus- especially God, to know how unclean we really are.

Growing up, my mom would always have us prewash the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher.  Our dishwasher did a fine job, so I could never understand why she washed them twice.  I think it came from the years we lived in a house with 8 children without a dishwasher.  It’s like she didn’t trust that the dishwasher would get the dishes really clean.

Letting Jesus near our “dirty feet” takes trust that he will really make them clean once and for all!  This story tells us that we can’t be too unclean, we can’t be too poor, we can’t be too sinful.

None of that matters to God.  Jesus meets us where we are, kneels down and washes our feet in a way that makes us brand new.  In fact, Jesus even washed the feet of Judas knowing that Judas was going to betray him.  Jesus knew that Peter would deny him, and still washed his feet.

Jesus knew what was going to take place, he knew the end of his life was near, and still he is there with them, moving among them doing a loving act of service, washing their feet and making them new.

If you knew you weren’t going to live much longer, what would you say or do with the last days of your life?

Jesus chose to spend his last free hours with the disciples eating with them and washing their feet – to show them one more time what it means to live a life of love for one another. He modeled this for them in real time.

What does it look like to love one another?

There are so many different ways to interpret these commandments and everyone has different ideas about it.  We know what it means to not steal or lie, but do we truly know what it means to love one another?

Jesus showed us this commandment in his own life and death.  We know it’s not the self-serving – “I will do something nice for you, but expect something in return” kind of love.

No.  It’s the difficult kind of love.

The selfless, humble, serving- kind of love, where you are truly putting someone else before yourself.

It’s the foot-washing kind of love.

The -sharing a meal with the guy who is going to give you up to the authorities- kind of love.  The eating with tax collectors and sinners, the healing the sick, the turning over tables in the temple, the preaching and teaching and feeding and serving whoever came to him-kind of love.  The dying for our sins- kind of love.

That is how he showed us this commandment.  That is how he showed us he loves us.  We really don’t need to question how much Jesus loved us or what that love looked like.  We know it looks like death on a cross.

Jesus showed us what he meant by love – in his life and his death.  And if we are to love one another, as Jesus has loved us… then we have to wash feet and get down to the real grimy business of loving one another.

Jesus said that when we love one another, then everyone will know who we are.  It isn’t by us becoming better or cleaner or richer.  But they will know we are disciples of his, lovers of His example, by our love for one another.

That is the future Jesus imagined for us.  That is what he commanded us to do.

Just as we are – with our unclean feet and our unclean hearts – without prewashing,  Jesus comes to us and in spite of all odds washes us clean and loves us without weighing us down with guilt, heavy commands or demands to perform as perfect little Saints.

He washed us clean…  … by laying his life bare, in brokenness and raw humility.

What love… such love… …from Our beloved One.


In His Shadow,
~ Mary Lindow ©

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” THE MESSENGER ” ~ Mary Lindow

Mary Lindow imageMary Lindow has a passion for encouraging others – all generations, careers or vocations to live expressing excellence through personal integrity, healthy accountability, and wise management of talents and skills. She’s a sought after keynote, inspirational, humorous speaker and teacher across the U.S.A and internationally in Ministers & Spiritual leaders Conferences, and training seminars for various organizations.

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