Tim Keller | October 16, 2016
When Jesus knew it was his last time to train his disciples, he started their training with foot washing.
He gets up out of his place as the guest of honor, and he puts on a towel, picks up a basin, and begins to wash their feet. We’ve seen that this has symbolism that tells us who Jesus is. We look now at how it tells us what he came to give us: his salvation.
We learn here that 1) we have a deep problem, 2) there’s a twofold cure, and 3) why and how we can get it.
Jesus readies His disciples for their mission in the world, commencing with the symbolic act of foot washing. The focus transitions to the gift of salvation, spotlighting humanity’s profound issue and its bifurcated solution. The study of the significance of foot washing and the comprehension of salvation’s cure form the nucleus of the discussion.
1. The deep problem
The biblical account of Jesus washing his disciples’ feet accentuates the profound need for spiritual cleansing and the lengths Jesus goes to purify his followers. The metaphors of dirt and stench symbolize sin and the necessity of salvation, reinforcing the importance of removing the barriers caused by sin. The narrative also illuminates the human consciousness of God, guilt, and unworthiness, which can only be resolved through Jesus’ cleansing and the promise of eternal life.
2. The twofold cure
Jesus offers a dual remedy for our sins and guilt, symbolized through the imagery of a bath and foot washing. Upon becoming Christians, we are soaked in Jesus’ forgiveness and righteousness, a one-time act of salvation, yet we continually need to confess our sins and mend our relationship with God. Grasping and embracing both these aspects prevents us from becoming hardened or anxious, instead fostering rest, peace, and the motivation to grow.
3. How we get it
Freedom from shame and guilt is possible because Jesus bore our shame and guilt through His crucifixion, offering us pardon and cleansing. The cure is seized not by self-examination or arguing with shaming voices, but by concentrating on Jesus and His sacrifice. This focus brings about freedom, joy, and a release from our burdens.
February Book Offer
In his book Counterfeit Gods, Tim Keller shows us how a proper understanding of the Bible reveals the truth about societal ideals and our own hearts — and that there is only one God who can wholly satisfy our cravings and fulfill our hopes.
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