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A Fresh Start with Fresh Feet

January 1, 2012

So there you have it – 2012 has arrived, it’s a New Year and a fresh start. It’s this time of year that we tend to think of all that has come and gone in the year previous and what, if anything, we need to change to improve the year to come.

We call these changes ‘New Year Resolutions’. We hope that somehow we can better the past by making a fresh start, leaving the old behind and embracing the new.

It’s whilst we’re thinking of the New Year that I would like to make a quick reference to the bible, if I may. In John chapter 13 (in the New Testament of the bible) we read of Jesus washing the feet of His disciples.

Now you may not know this, but this was a usual practise at the time. People had no transport to talk of and spent most of their days walking to and fro. Consequently they would end up walking in the intense heat through mud and dirt and often cattle poo (left on the roadside) and all sorts of un-pleasantries mixed in with sweat. As a result of this when they arrived at their destination their feet needed to be cleaned otherwise… well you can imagine the smell!

This disgusting job would normally have been carried out by no more than a lowly household servant, however here we read of Jesus being the one to stoop to this degrading role to clean off the filth from the disciples’ feet.

For the disciples this was a huge shock to their system and it was a little uncomfortable. Jesus was no servant to them, He was their teacher, He was the one that they had chosen to follow and learn from.

This story tells us much about the gospel. Jesus Christ came to clean us up and wash away our filth. Jesus bent down in humility, He stooped low to wash away the implications of the way we have walked through life. We have all made decisions that have resulted in us walking through “cattle poo” and Jesus took it upon Himself to make us new.

At the start of this New Year let me guarantee you two things: 1.) We have no idea how glorious Jesus is, I don’t mean this patronisingly, it’s just true of all of us. The second fact is this 2.) We have no idea how dirty our feet are. Partly due to our bad choices in life and partly due to people’s bad choices against us we all have feet that have been damaged and are in desperate need of a wash.

When you combine these two facts together – the unknowable majesty of Christ and the depraved nature of our situation then we are left with a hugely significant question. How could Jesus be the one to wash us?

In John 13, the story goes a little further. Jesus also washes the feet of Judas Iscariot, whom he knows will later betray Him.

This story has far reaching implications for all of us.

No matter how far you have gone, Jesus can bring you back. No matter how dirty the situation has become, Jesus can wash you clean again. Even if you would consider yourself a traitor – there is still hope for you.

At the beginning of this New Year why not look into this story more. Let your New Year Resolution be to check out this Beautiful Narrative. You can have a fresh start with fresh feet.

One Comment
  1. Aidan permalink

    The main issue for people I think will be the fact that they don’t know or care that they have dirty feet and therefore don’t consider that they need Jesus to cleanse them of anything.
    But if people try and stick to their new years resolutions for just a few days, or even hours without slipping up then they would realise how hopeless and messed up we all are without Him!
    We just need to apply that kind of logic across the board, even as Christians we sometimes think we can ‘wash our own feet’ until Jesus comes along with a cleaning agent like you’ve never seen (the cross) and you release you were just making your own feet dirtier and dirtier.
    Great comments!

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