10 Jesus said to him, “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean….” ~ John 13:10a (NKJV)
By Bro. John L. Cash, “Country Preacher Dad”
The teenagers at my church really lift my spirits because they’re always making me laugh. After a nine-day trip to Youth Conference and a 10-hour trip home in the July heat, they piled out of the van very smelly and grubby. One young man sat down on a lawn chair and propped up his bare feet, exposing the dark layer of ground-in grime on his bare soles. His friend said, “Oooh, look at him. He has “grocery store feet.”
I laughed out loud because I immediately knew what he was talking about without any need for explanation. A person with “grocery store feet” has feet that look like he spent the day walking barefoot in the local Winn-Dixie. I especially thought of the grocery stores of years long gone by. When I was a child, grocery stores in small towns often had unfinished concrete floors. Although the flooring started out with the light grey color of fresh cement, over time they became coated with a layer of oily grunge left behind by daily traffic, the black rubber wheels of the shopping carts, and daily use of an oil-based sweeping compound. Just a few barefooted steps across these floors, and your feet became oil-stained dirt magnets. I don’t think you could scrub it off. You’d probably have to wait for it to “wear” off. You had Grocery Store Feet.
Even though the people in Bible times didn’t have grocery stores, they still had a problem with dirty feet. Everybody wore sandals, and they walked everywhere they went. When you went to visit at someone’s home, the host would have the lowest servant in the house bring water to wash your feet. Even though you’d taken a bath before you walked to the party, by the time you got there, your feet were dirty.
In John Chapter 13, Jesus Christ, the Son of God took a bowl of water and began to wash His disciples’ feet. The Creator of the world had stooped to perform the task of the lowliest bondservant. At first, Simon Peter refused to let the Lord was his feet. Jesus told him that unless He washed Peter, the disciple would have no part with Him. So, then, the ever-impetuous disciple said that if that were the case, then Jesus should wash Peter’s head and hands also. In the Scripture lesson (at the top), Jesus said that a person who has had a bath did not need to bathe again. He only needs to wash his feet, and he would be clean again.
I want to tell you how I believe this teaching applies to us today. When we come to saving faith in Jesus Christ and are baptized into Him, entrusting our lives to Him, He cleanses us. We’ve had a bath, and we are clean. When we go into the Lord’s house, repenting of our sins and receiving Holy Communion, it is there that we spiritually wash our feet. We do not need a bath again because we are clean. But we must spiritually wash our feet—because that’s the part of us that comes in contact with the world.
Dear mamas, every new week starts with a new Lord’s Day. This sin-sick world that you are raising your babies in is becoming dirtier all the time. Why not take them to the Lord’s House today? The Church is the place that Jesus can cleanse us “with the washing of water by the Word.”(Ephesians 5:26) And, as you know, there really is no better feeling than that of being clean.
Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 25 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. (On week days he works at a public school.) He and his lovely wife, Susan, and his sons, Spencer (age 19) and Seth (age 16) live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where the teenagers also make the Preacher laugh by referring to a person’s thin, seedy mustache as a “molestache.” See example below.) He would love to hear from you in an email sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.