Jesus washed the disciples feet. That means He also washed Judas’ feet.
How often do we feel like not only does one of our friends have a Judas complex, but also like we have been handed a bucket of hot water and a towel so we can wash their feet?
Friends can be fickle, and it is easy to feel betrayed and hurt by them, or to feel that they are just out for themselves, sound familiar? Sounds like Judas to me. We can never experience the pain of complete betrayal like Jesus ( even if it feels like we have) but dishonest, self seeking “friends” are everywhere and most people have gone through some form of frenimies pain; but Jesus still calls us to be there for them, to show them friendship and once in a while to wash their feet. Our God loves humility and what could be more humble of a task than foot washing? Can you smell the sweat ridden sandals? Can you feel the dirt of the road washing off of them and onto you? Perhaps That was Jesus’ point. He was about to wash us clean of all our sins and put them upon His own body, the same way He washed His friend’s feet and let their dirt wash onto His hands. Hands soon to be pierced by nails and hung on a tree. If Jesus could wash Judas’ feet I can wash the feet of my frenimies.
Jesus, please help us to wash the feet of those who hurt us. If for no other reason let us do it to draw closer to you. Amen
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What is it about holding someone’s hand that makes us feel stronger, safer, steadier? Why does that simple touch, the warmth of their fingers around yours make such a big difference? Its a symbolic gesture, a way of saying “I’m here for you” similar to a hug. My aunt has two little boys and they both constantly want to hold your hand when out walking. I can not begin to tell you how many times I have been holding one of their hands and something has happened to cause them to trip, the only thing keeping that kid from pain was my hand. The minuet I feel them start to go down I tighten my grip and hold them up, lifting them back to their feet. In the exact same way Jesus is holding our hands. As we go through life His powerful fingers are intertwined with ours and when we trip He holds us up and lifts us back to our feet. He even gave us other people to help hold us up. When we pray together how often do we hold hands? It’s a symbol of you’ve got me and I’ve got you. Sometimes we try to pull away from that constant loving hand and it will let us go until we come back and accept it again. I’m going to end with a word picture. I can imagine Jesus, strong and gentle, standing on hill top overlooking whatever veiw makes you happiest. Now place yourself running up to see Him so excited or maybe scared and you trip expecting to hit the ground. Suddenly a hand reaches out. Its scarred and battered from years of work but you grasp it instinctively. Strong arms lift you back to your feet and you look up into those laughing, dancing eyes now filled with tender concern. He asks if you are alright as you nod your head embarrassed. Then your savior takes a tighter grip on your hand and leads you to the best spot to see the veiw. Even though you move across vines and rocks you do not stumble again because that constant hand keeps you secure on your feet. Don’t let go of Jesus and He won’t ever let go of you.
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When I was in high school I took basic karate. One of the main things drilled into the class was the fact that karate means open handed combat, which means that our combat is self defense it is not meant as a form of attack. If we apply this technique to life we get a person entering their day open minded to the people around them and empty handed of judgments. When we go out into this world we are stepping onto the mat and as Christians the way we respond to daily jabs and kicks need to be censored according to our teachings. In martial arts your fight technique reflects that of your teacher, in the same way our daily response to life needs to reflect Jesus. We enter the arena holding nothing against the people we will face, we come in open minded to their situation. Picture this. Bright blinding lights, a roaring crowd and a tall battle scarred warrior faces you down as your toe touches the mat, there’s no turning back now. You see that angry face, the deep creases of old battles lost and you gain your opinion of the warrior. They step closer and you step up to them, you don’t yet know what will happen next all you know is this person has been hurt too many times and it is your turn now to decide, do you attack or do you help? Do you reign judgement and add to their scars or do you give compassion and help the scars heal? Your mind open and clear so you can hear from the Holy Spirit and see this person’s needs and you realize all they need is a comforting hand. As the vision fades away; the crowds and the lights dim, you see the warrior in a new way, the way Jesus sees them. We shouldn’t enter the arena to fight we should enter to help; but sometimes in this daily life we Christians forget that we are not here to judge and attack the people around us, we are here to help them and in doing so show them Jesus. That’s the point to open handed combat, coming without prejudices and without judgements so you can help heal this world just as Jesus came without a sword or armor as a gentle baby in a manger.
We all have pain in our lives; pain we feel each day, pain that causes us to fall asleep on tear-drenched pillows. The peace is in the fact that the pain won’t last. Jesus hates it when we hurt so He reaches down a hand to hold. Jesus knows the good that will come from our suffering but He will not allow us to suffer to alone; He is always with us. A little while back I had fallen from a rock wall and had landed on my face. Not wanting to go through my day with the big cut down my lip showing I proceeded to cover it with make up, guess what? It almost completely disappeared; on the surface everything seemed to be fine so no one knew the pain behind the makeup. All people use cover-up throughout their lives so that on the outside all looks fine and no body knows what’s going on on the inside, no body but Jesus. Does anyone remember the song ‘don’t cry out loud’? For how many people is this song their life motto? “I’ll be fine, I can stand strong, this is my problem not anyone else’s.” Sound familiar? This life has a way of knocking us back, but Jesus is there so we don’t hit the ground. We fall into His strong arms and like the best friend HE is, who always has our backs, Jesus straightens us up and faces our giants with us. It’s not necessarily a bad thing that we as people don’t feel comfortable sharing our pain with others, but we must never forget that Jesus is sharing our pain with us. He feels it too and understands. He cried alone in the garden so that we will NEVER have to cry alone. As you work at moving through your pain please remember, most of the people around you have pain they are moving through too and that they need you to be gentle with them, just as you need others to be gentle with you.