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John #36 Lord, My Feet Are Dirty

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That you may Believe and Have Life #36

John 13:6-11

Last week we found ourselves in the borrowed upper room of a friend’s house where Jesus and his disciples are celebrating the Passover together

Jesus Christ, while they serving the meal, Jesus got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, wrapped a towel around his waist, poured water into a basin and, without a word, began to wash the feet of his disciples. 

Now Jesus washed all of their feet, but only one of the disciples is recorded as saying anything in the midst of the process … but in this exchange between Peter and Jesus, we learn something that we must stop and take notice today

READ 13:6-11

Well … this exchange between Peter and Jesus teaches us some things about dealing with being unclean or in other words dealing with sin in our lives

àWhat do we do when we have sinned?

àWhat happens as a believer?

àdo I lose my salvation?

àdo I just go along doing the best I can? 

Well … how do we deal with it?


1. Make An Accurate Assessment

If you look closely at the words here you will find that there were two kinds of people represented in the room that day with Jesus …

So when dealing with sin in our lives, we need to make an accurate assessment

Is the problem a systemic problem or a environmental problem

Is it a wide spread problem or is it localized

Can I be clean or is the problem beyond my ability?  Do I need a nature change or cleaning and training?

  A. Two Kinds of Sin

    1. SIN is a problem.  The interesting thing today is that the thinking about sin has changed dramatically.  Satan has worked to change the way we think about sin.  It used to be that sin was something that was shameful.  But now we have come to a place in many ways where we might believe there is sin, and even perhaps that I am a sinner, but we no longer believe that there is a problem, that there is guilt.

    2.  Psalm 32:5

Psalm 32:5 (NIV)
Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord”— and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah

YES guilt is a problem … and it is a two fold problem … there is iniquity and there are transgressions

    3. Iniquity – wickedness … it is a state of being – SIN

    4. Transgressions – infringement or violation of law – SINS

    5. One is something you do and the other is something you have or are …

    6. iniquity –

Psalm 51:5 surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me

    7. transgressions –

Hos 6:7 – Like Adam, they have broken the covenant, they were unfaithful to me there.

Paul teaches us that because of Adam we have all BECOME sinners and are born IN SiN … but LIKE Adam we also sometimes CHOOSE to go OUT OF BOUNDS … God has set the boundaries for what is acceptable and we leave.  God is in charge and we try to set our own rules and encroach on his authority

Micah 6:8 says that what God WANTS – is that we would act justly … love mercy … walk humbly with … Godi

The problem is that we don’t always do that … and when we fail to love mercy, when we fail to act justly, when we fail with walk humbly with God … we are out of bounds … i.e. our feet are dirty … and we are still his children, we are still the sheep of his pasture, but we need a cleaning

  B. What is Your Problem?

That sounds terrible … but isn’t that what we are asking

Do you have dirty feet, or are you dirty from the inside out?

Have you been bathed by the son of God and are simply in need of a cleaning

Or are you still IN your sin and in need of cleansing

Do you stand IN the Forgiveness of God found in Christ Jesus, covered in the forgiveness of his shed blood … Or do you stand in your own goodness condemned already because you have failed to receive Christ?


2. Take Appropriate Action

There are two kinds of sin … or two conditions.

And there are two prescriptions

  A. Wash the Whole Body

    1. Verse 11 explains the last phrase of verse 10.

    2. the last phrase in verse 10 can be a little confusing in some translations – in the nasb or the kjv it uses the phrase “not all of you” or “not all” … which leaves you to assume perhaps it’s talking about Peter’s Body, as the rest of the verse.  However the NIV translates, “though not every one of you” … which when you read verse 11 you understand the meaning shifts from Peter to all of the disciples as verse 11 points out that one of them was going to betray him, evidencing that one of them had a deeper problem than the rest.  That though the rest were clean but their feet were dirty, one of them was completely dirty

    3. The person that is dirty through hand through, the one who has an iniquity problem cannot do anything themselves, they need to be bathed

    4. the difference between the one and the rest was that he had not been bathed on the inside

Look back at verse 10 – he said of Peter … YOU HAVE BEEN BATHED … need to be WASHED … and then says not every one of you …

      a. NIV says “there person who has had a bath” … or “has been bathed” … This word “has had a bath” or “been bathed” … is the Greek word, louo /loo-o/ always used of a person and of the whole body being washed.  It also is used of when someone who has died or is dead, is Washed head to toe prepared for burial. Acts 9:37 It has one other meaning, and that is found in Acts 16:33 and that is when one washed out the wounds of another removing the blood and debris so healing can begin …

      b. If the sin that we are born in, if the GUILT that it bears is the diagnosed problem … then you need to be Bathed … Judas was in that room and the writer John made sure we understood that Judas had a different problem than the rest.  He needed to be bathed … he needed to have the wounds washed that sin had left behind.  He needed to have his dead body cleansed … He needed to be cleansed by Christ, head to toe

Hebrews 10:22 uses this same word when it says let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water

    5. Judas had a different problem than the rest.  They may have seemed the same looking around the room at the dirty feet, but it was an important difference

    6. you may be here today and you don’t really seem all that much different from anyone else in the room, maybe your feet are a little dirty or your fingernails a little dirty … perhaps you are even pretty well scrubbed … J

Your problem may be, that you have not been bathed.

    7. Agree with God that you have a Problem

Psalm 38:17 I confess my INIQUITY; I am TROUBLED by my sin

    8. Call out to him

Psalm 51:1,2 have mercy on me, O God according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin

    9. Submit to the cleaning of the Lord.  Surrender to his Lordship –

1 John 1:9

Rom 10:9,10,13

Now- if you have been bathed, you have come to Christ at a moment in time and received his cleansing for Salvation and eternal life … but you look down and realize, your feet are dirty … your hands are not clean … your ear is clogged with wax … whatever …

  B. Wash the Part that’s Dirty

The good news when we understand this passage is that once you have been Bathed by the Lord Jesus Christ, you do NOT need to be bathed again, you just need to be cleaned

The Greek wording here is very important.  It says “a person who has had a bath needs only to wash” … the words “needs only” are two Greek words … chreia ou  which, in order, means necessity, duty – AND – no, not

So the understanding is that IF you’ve been bathed … another bath is not a duty or necessity but instead …

à Because when you gave your heart to Christ you were thoroughly Bathed

1 Cor 6:11

You were washed … sanctified … justified in the name of the Lord jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God

Washed (wash away)

Sanctified (separated and rendered dedicated to God)

Justified (rendered righteous)

So when Christ washed you of your sin, he washed your sin guilt away, he rendered you dedicated to God and Righteous.  The word render means to transmit or deliver to another, to agree on and report a verdict.

The Verdict is in, we ARE clean … we are washed and belong to God with a righteousness that is NOT our own

SO … because of the Work Of Christ and the Spirit in your salvation …

Need only to Wash …

The Greek Word for Wash there is different from lou­o which is to what the whole body … to WASH – nipto – to cleanse especially the hands feet or face

Praise the Lord, this paints a beautiful picture … Remember I said there were two conditions show here and two prescriptions … the First Condition was COMPLETELY unclean … and that person needed to be bathed, they need salvation … the SECOND Condition is specifically dirty and in need of cleaning, washing, in a specific, localized way.

So what do we do to “wash our feet”

    1. we still need to confess our sin

    2. we still need to admit that we are wrong

Psalm 51:3,4 for I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.  4 against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge

    3. our sin has been forgiven at the cross …

Back at our text it says because we are bathed … we are completely clean … or the whole body is clean

Those two words in Greeks mean all, the whole, completely, clean, pure, purified by fire

    4. but we need to walk in the forgiveness

Psalm 51:7 cleanse me with hyssop and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.

Oh that is the most powerful message you need to get today …

You need to take spiritual inventory and get a diagnosis from God.

Have you been Bathed?  

Are you washed in the blood, in the soul cleansing blood of the lamb

Are your garments spotless are they white as snow, are you washed in the blood of the Lamb

If not, give in to the cleansing

If you HAVE been bathed then …

Say “hallelujah I am clean”

Now … take inventory … and see if you are dirty …

Let me give you a hint …

àIf Jesus shows up in front of you in a towel with a basin, and you are a born again believer, then your feet are dirty … so don’t fight him surrender

And then washed by Christ, let’s …

3. Live Clean in an Unclean World

Remember in verse 17 Jesus said now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them

The way to be clean is to submit to Christ

  A. You Can’t Do it Alone

Peter was embarrassed for Jesus to wash his feet

He felt it is something that he should have taken care of

But in the Spiritual sense he couldn’t

The only way to be part of Christ is to submit to Christ

We don’t have the ability to be Holy alone

But the good news is that we have a Savior who loves us enough to be concerned with our personal holiness

But he also wants to show his holiness THROUGH us to display himself to a watching world

Ezek 20:41 when I bring you out from the people and gather you out of the countries where you have been scattered, I will manifest my holiness among you in the sight of the nations

That was always his plan with Israel and it is his plan with us as his people

  B. Jesus Loves You and Wants you Clean

1 Thes. 4:7 God did not call us to be impure but to live a holy life

He washes you with the Word

He will present you clean to the Father

Eph 5:25-26 … Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word 27 and present her as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless

Oh the Word of God, Jesus Christ in print is able to be Used by the Person of Jesus Christ to make you clean, thoroughly clean

Saved by Smoking the Bible

Jacob Koshy grew up in Singapore with one driving ambition: to be a success in life, to gain all the money and possessions he could. That led him into the world of drugs and gambling, and eventually he became the lord of an international smuggling network. In 1980, he was arrested and placed in a government drug rehabilitation prison in Singapore.

He was frustrated beyond endurance. All his goals, purposes, dreams, and ambitions were locked up with him in a tiny cell, and his heart was full of a cold emptiness.

He was a smoker, and cigarettes weren’t allowed in the center. Instead, he smuggled in tobacco and rolled it in the pages of a Gideon Bible. One day he fell asleep while smoking. He awoke to find that the cigarette had burned out, and all that remained was a scrap of charred paper. He unrolled it and read what was written: “Saul, Saul, Why do you persecute me?”

Jacob asked for another Bible and read the entire story of the conversion of Saul of Tarsus. He suddenly realized that if God could help someone like Saul, God could help him, too. There in his cell he knelt and prayed, asking Christ to come into his life and change him. He began crying and couldn’t stop. The tears of a wasted life washed away his pain, and God redeemed him. He started sharing his story with the other prisoners, and as soon as he was released he became involved in a church. He met a Christian woman, married, and is now a missionary in the Far East where he tells people far and wide, “Who would have believed that I could find the truth by smoking the Word of God?”*[1]

There is a Fountain Filled with Blood drawn from Emmanuel’s veins


William Cooper’s hymn - The apostle John said that the blood of Jesus Christ “cleanses from all sin.” (1 John 1:7) The multitude in Revelation 7:14 had washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

But how is blood a cleaning agent? To us, blood is a soiling or staining agent, something we try to scrub off, not scrub with.

Dr. Henry Brand explained it this way in Christianity Today:

All that we have learned about physiology in recent years confirms the accuracy of the still-jarring juxtaposition of blood and cleansing.…

I suggest a simple experiment if you truly wish to grasp the function of blood as a cleansing agent. Find a blood pressure kit and wrap the cuff around your upper arm. When it is in position, have a friend pump it up to about 200 mm. of mercury, a sufficient pressure to stop the flow of blood in your arm. Initially your arm will feel an uncomfortable tightness beneath the cuff. Now comes the revealing part of the experiment: perform any easy task with your cuffed arm. Merely flex your finger and make a fist about ten times in succession, or cut paper with scissors, or drive a nail into wood with a hammer.

The first few movements will seem quite normal as the muscles obediently contract and relax. Then you will feel a slight weakness. Almost without warning a hot flash of pain will strike, after maybe ten movements. Your muscles will cramp. If you force yourself to continue this simple task, you will likely cry out in absolute agony. Finally, you cannot force yourself to continue; the pain overwhelms you.

When your release the tourniquet and air escapes from the cuff, blood will rush into your aching arm and a wonderful sense of relief will soothe your muscles.… Physiologically, you have just experienced the cleansing of the blood.

While the blood supply to your arm was shut off, you forced your muscles to keep working. As they converted oxygen into energy, they produced certain waste products (metabolites) that are normally flushed away instantly in the bloodstream. Due to the constricted blood flow, however, these metabolites accumulated in your cells. They were not “cleansed” by the swirling stream of blood, and therefore in a few minutes you felt the agony of retained toxins.*[2]

OH don’t you see that when we don’t have the Blood of Jesus to cleanse us in Salvation

When in our saved state, we still refuse the work of the Spirit in our life and restrict him from certain areas of our life and say “you can’t wash me”

The Toxins build up and if not allowed to our lives we will die in our rejection

If we refuse him parts of our lives as believers they will shrivel and die

Oh let him into your life

Let him into your Marriage

Let him into your hobbies

Let him into your Job

Let him into your relationships

Let him In

Let him In

Let him In


There is a fountain

Drawn from Emmanuel’s veins

And sinners plunged beneath the flow

Lose all their guilty stains


Lose all their guilty stains

Lose all their guilty stains

And sinners plunged beneath that flow

Lose all their guilty stains

RUN to Him

Submit to Him

Choose to Follow him

Obey Him


* Jacob Koshy, “From Smoking the Word to Speaking the Word” in Gideon Testimonies from International Extension Countries (Nashville: The Gideons International, 1994), 59–60.

[1]Morgan, R. J. (2000). Nelson's complete book of stories, illustrations, and quotes (electronic ed.) (148). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

* Paul Brand and Philip Yancy, “Blood: The Miracle of Cleansing, Part 1, ” Christianity Today, February 18, 1983, 13.

[2]Morgan, R. J. (2000). Nelson's complete book of stories, illustrations, and quotes (electronic ed.) (79). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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