Muddy Waters

Daily Devotional – I’m Normal.™  I AM Ministries

“To promote Godly living in a culture committed to destroying it”

Normal I AM

Friday, February 26, 2016

Muddy Waters

Some of the best roads in the ancient world led into and through Jerusalem. Although not as smooth as our modern highways, years of traffic had worn smooth the rock pavement beds, which were maintained well under Roman authority. Nevertheless, these roads all had one major issue – manure.

Whereas modern automobiles discharge their waste into the atmosphere, the camels, horses, donkeys, sheep, goats and other animals that traversed ancient Jerusalem’s thoroughfares left countless piles of solid waste in the roadways. Anyone traveling on these roads, including Jesus Christ and His disciples, faced an impossible task – to avoid the unending accumulation of “cow pies” and “road apples” along their path. Despite their best efforts, a journey by highway covered their bare or sandaled feet in thick, putrid muck.

As each disciple entered the upper room where the Last Supper was held, each bore the evidence of the road trip. Each left an imprint of brown tracks and clumps of waste, yet none of them gave it a thought. The custom at the time required the host to provide a Gentile servant to clean the feet of the guests. The Gentile would sit next to the basin of water with a clean cloth and wipe the grime from the guest’s feet. Surprisingly, none of the disciples noticed the servant’s absence, perhaps because they had another agenda – to lobby to Jesus regarding who was the greatest among them (Luke 22:24).

In preparation for the meal, the disciples were called to gather around their LORD and Savior at the dinner table for the final meal. Dining habits in the Jewish culture were different from ours. A large table occupied the room, but it was simply a large block of wood set on the floor. This arrangement required the diners to recline on the floor, using one arm to prop themselves on pillows and the other to put food in their mouths. Their muck-covered feet lay only inches away from each other. The stench must have been awful. Maintaining an appetite presented a challenge.

As dinner was being served, Jesus silently got up from the table, walked to the water basin, and took off His outer clothing. He wrapped a towel around His waist and filled the basin with water. Next, He carried the basin to the feet of the disciples. Without a word of explanation or dramatic introduction, Jesus Christ dropped to His knees and began to wash the disciple’s feet. What a beautiful picture – our LORD kneeling to serve the sinners He loves.

As Jesus humbly rubbed the thick, grimy mess into the basin, the room must have fallen into awkward silence. As He moved from apostle to apostle, unbelieving glances darted like lasers across the room. It was probably so quiet you could have heard their nervous hearts beating.

Jesus was making muddy waters. After each foot left the basin, the water became darker and darker, polluted by the muck. Ignoring the sludge, Jesus lovingly dried each foot with a clean towel. When Peter questioned Him, Jesus rebuked him and continued His task. After Christ had cleansed the foot of the last disciple, He looked each in the eye and said, “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” (John 13:15).

Most of us would be revolted or insulted by being asked to clean manure-covered feet, yet this is what Christ calls us to do. Christ wants you and me to serve others as He served you and me by cleaning our feet when they were coated with the disgusting mess of sin. He did not call us to argue over who would assume the positions of distinction or power or ease. He calls us to change our way of thinking and to follow His humble example. He tells us it is normal to fall on our knees and clean the feet of parents, spouses, children, bosses, friends, and even strangers. He wants you to make the waters muddy when no one else is willing, just as He did.

Jesus still kneels at your feet in a loving, devoted desire to wash you clean from your accumulated sin. He wants to minister to you today. Jesus wants to give you a fresh start and to scrape the sin out of your life. If you open your eyes, you will see the beautiful Son of God kneeling at your feet, holding a basin and ready to clean and comfort you. But He also wants you to clean the feet of others. Will you respond by making muddy waters for His sheep?

In His love and service,

Jeff Myers
A servant of Jesus Christ

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