In Jesus’ day, people walked around in open-toed, strappy sandals or no shoes at all. Most people traveled exclusively by foot, and getting around could be a messy endeavor.
Dirt was everywhere in Israel. Roads were made of packed down dirt, held together with crushed sea shells and animal dung. Throughout the day, a person would wash his feet repeatedly, especially if he was going in and out of friends’ homes.
In John 13, Jesus compared salvation to taking a bath. Just like the people only needed to bathe once, we only need to trust Jesus for salvation once. When we ask Jesus into our lives, our sins are forgiven, and we are completely clean (John 13:10).
We will still mess up and fall short, but when that happens, we don’t need to get saved again. Our sins are already paid for. Instead, we need to admit our sin and turn away from it. If salvation is like a bath, this process of confession and repentance is like a foot washing—repeat as often as necessary.
Reading the Bible and applying it to our lives is how we discover our feet are dirty in a spiritual sense. The more we read and hear from God, the more our hearts are shaped to see the world the way He does. And the more we see the world through God’s eyes, the more we respond to our circumstances the way Jesus would.
- Is there any area of your life where you feel like you just can’t get it right?
- Have you ever confessed this struggle to someone else? Why or why not?
- What step can you take this week to turn away from your sin? What does listening to Jesus and doing what He says look like for you in this particular situation?