Living a transformed life calls to understand humility

Published 2:47 pm Sunday, January 11, 2009

When parents go out for an evening, they usually leave their most important instructions to their children in that moment when they are going out the door. The often yell out, “Don’t open this door to any stranger” or “In an emergency, this is where we will be,” and so on.

Well, in just the same way, the Lord Jesus left his most important instructions to his disciples the moment he was about to leave them. And the very first of those instructions was this: “wash one another’s feet.”

The disciples of Jesus had spent close to three years with him yet they were lacking in experiencing radical transformations in their lives. Just before this event, Luke even tells us that a fight broke out among them about who would be the greatest in the kingdom. They did not understand his mission.

Jesus says something like, “I’m your teacher but haven’t transformed your life yet.”

If you claim to be a follower of Jesus, do you have the courage to ask someone who if they see your life being transformed? Ask somebody who knows you if you have become more gentle, more patient, more kind, more poised with failure or more joyful?

How does true, life transformation happen? It happens when the God of the universe kneels down to wash your feet. Peter would have rather washed the feet of Jesus than vice versa. We are ready to be humble before God, but we do not want God to be humble before us. And Jesus says, “You don’t understand if you are not washed by me.”

It is too obscene for God to descend as a man to wash their feet. And some imagine that God is not that mad and they are not that bad that God would need to send his son to pay the penalty of sin on the cross. They miss God not because he is too distant, but because he is too near. Unless you see your need to be washed, you have no need of Jesus. Sometimes, instead of looking up, one needs to look down and see that he had to die for you and to say, “O servant king, would you do this for me?”

That’s how a Christian life begins. Once that happens, you are bathed, and now you live a life of having your feet washed and washing the feet of others. It is that understanding of Christ’s suffering and death that lies beneath the Christian life. You cannot truly wash another’s feet until you have been washed.