Close Encounters: Part 6

In the past five devotions we have been looking at Old Testament close encounters of our Lord and His people. For the next five devotions in this series we will be looking to the New Testament for more of these close encounters with Christ Jesus and His people. We have mentioned this before; Jesus loves to work closely and intimately with His children. Are you a child of God today? If so He wants to work closely and intimately in your lives as well!

Just this past week a good friend of mind returned from a two-day turkey hunting trip on my place in East Central Mississippi. He hunted all day on Monday and most of the day on Tuesday. He did not kill any birds but he did have several close encounters. He said he had a good time chasing turkeys; however, his feet paid the price. The blisters on his heels and the redness that was all over his feet total the story clearly. Hunters, if you are going to walk a lot get you a comfortable pair of boots. It will be worth it.

As I thought about close encounters and sore feet the Lord brought to my mind a very close encounter that Jesus had with His disciples. It was a very intimate time when Jesus washed the disciples’ feet. Look with me into this story and allow Jesus to speak to your heart through it.

John 13:1-5;12-13 Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him; Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.

The Cleansing and Compassionate Christ

I. The Compassion of our Lord. (Verse 1)
A. The Feast, Of the Passover (Lamb)
* Possibly the most Figurative picture of Jesus.
B. His Foreknowledge
* He knew that the next morning He would be arrested and then later crucified on the cross.
C. His Father
* Only our Lord would send His only begotten Son to this world and die for this world who despises Him still today.
D. His Faithfulness
* Jesus was faithful to carry out His Father’s will because He loved the Father and He was faithful because
He loved us.
E. His Finish
* Jesus was not only faithful; He was faithful to the end. He loved them unto the end. He loved us to the end. He fully carried out God’s plan for us to be able to have eternal life.
* Here also in this first verse of our text we see:
a. The Picture as well as the Person.
b. The Source as well as the Sufferer.
c. The Beginning as well as the End.
d. A look back to the Past as well as into the Future.
e. The Beloved Assurance in doing the will of the Father, and our Blessed Assurance in Christ’s Work on the Cross.

*In this awesome verse we see Jesus’ love for the disciples directly and His love for us indirectly. He knew who they were, but He loved them anyway. He knows who we are and He loves us anyway. Jesus knew Peter would soon deny Him cussing and swearing, but He loved him anyway. Jesus knows that we will fail Him in the faith department also, but He loves us anyway.
You see there was nothing in the disciples that caused Jesus to love them, yet He loved them anyway. Beloved there is nothing in you and in me that causes Jesus to love us either, but He loves us anyway. You could ask, What did God see in me? Or What did God see in you, to cause Him to love us? He sees nothing!! He just loves us. That is who He is, That is what He does. He loves us with an unconditional love. He loves us with a miraculous love. He loves us when we are up and when we are down. He loves us when we are right or when we are wrong, good or bad, and so on and so on He loves us. And while we were yet sinners He loved us until the end.

II. The Cleansing from our Lord. (Verses 2-5)
A. The Placement of Sin (verse 2).
1. The Conception of Sin
a. This is how sin starts out, Satan places the thought of a sin into your minds. The thought of
betraying Jesus was placed in the mind of Judas by Satan here.
b. If you don’t allow the Lord to fill your heart, then the devil will surely put stuff in. The stuff that he
puts in your heart and mind, you can rest assure, will “betray” the Lord. Anything that Satan puts in will
always be against the things of God. This is Sin!!!
2. The Creation of Sin
a. Through this Conception of sin, sin entered into the world.
b. Look in Gen. 3:1 and 4. Notice the text reads, “And he said”, speaking of Satan, “And the serpent
said.” Satan injects or puts in Doubt by lying to Eve. Satan also injects or puts in Desire by seducing
Eve. Then look what happens in vrs 6. By Doubt and by Desire sin was birthed into the world.
B. The Picture of Sin (verses 3-5)
* In these next few verses we see our compassionate Savior stooping down and gently washing the disciples’
feet. Can you believe that the King of Glory would do such a thing? This is an awesome picture of what Christ
did for you on the cross, as well as what He is still doing for us today. I hope you get the picture of the sin in
your life and just how much your Savior loves you.
1. Soiled Feet or Dirty Feet
* In Bible days the feet were the most literal and spiritual unclean part of the body. Just think about it. For the most part they went barefoot or wore a type of sandal. There were no paved roads as we know it. They were all dirt roads and paths with some being better of worse than others. Heat equals sweat; add dirt and you get lots of filth. Also animals use these same roads and paths, so you got their ‘deposits’ to deal with also. And you know today when a car breaks down its just left on the side of the road, well it was the same during that day when a mule would break down (die) or a camel and so on. All of the above would become crusted on your feet.
* You see the feet is the part of the body that was most exposed. Spiritually speaking, it is our hearts that is most exposed. We are exposed to the filth of the world today. It seems like we are stepping in something daily. And if you get right down to it we all are exposed to death each day we walk through the valley of the shadow of death. We are all exposed to SIN!
2. Stinking Feet or Foul-smelling Feet.
* I think this one is a no-brainer. The dirtier your feet get the smellier they get. It is the same way with your heart and with your lives. The fact of the matter is, SIN stinks and the more you are involved with it the more your life will stink.
3. Sore Feet or Hurting Feet
* Again people walked a lot. It was their means of transportation. You can imagine how sore their feet were. Certain chiropractors and pedicurists make lots of money each year by rubbing and massaging feet. They take the hurt out and sooth the pain out of the feet. Sin causes hurt and pain. Here in this picture we see Jesus taking away the hurt. Jesus would be the best person for this since He did create us. He knew just where to rub and just where to press to alleviate the pain. And for the pain caused by sin, Jesus is the only one that can remove the sin in your lives, as well as the pain caused by it.
4. Solid Feet or Callused/Hardened Feet.
* In today’s society our hearts are so callused by sin that it does not bother us the way it should.
Illustration: My hands after the first week at work for a civil engineering company. Cutting survey lines with tender hands were cut up and blistered up to the point on my fifth day of work I could continue. I had to do another task on that Friday. But by the next week or and the rest of the summer I had no problem because my hands were callused and hardened.
Illustration: The Indian explains our conscience. Our conscience or heart is like a triangle with three sharp edges. He said when one’s heart is tender and we do or think or see something wrong or sinful it moves and cuts on us and it hurts which tells our body not to do that again. But as time goes on the sharp corners where off and the area around it becomes callused or hardened and when we do or think or see something wrong or sinful it doesn’t hurt us or bother us like it did before. Our world has become callused to sin, our nation has become callused to sin, our communities have become callused to sin, our churches have become callused to sin, and our families have become callused to sin.
We need to allow Jesus to rub on our hardened hearts and remove the sin that has callused our lives.
C. The Person of Salvation
1. Here in this Person we see a Picture of the Crucifixion and the Resurrection.
* Notice the Picture of the Person in The Passover over meal:
a. The Bread = Jesus’ Broken Body
b. The Cup = Jesus’ Shed Blood
c. Table = Death or The Cross
d. After Supper He riseth = Jesus Resurrection
e. Laid aside His garments = Jesus in the Tomb
2. Here in this Person we see a Provider of Salvation.
* Jesus’ main purpose on this earth was to die of the cross for our sins. Through Jesus, He provides the only
way for our sins to be alleviated and for us to enter heaven.

Take some time and truly look at how sin has affected your life. Then take even more time to get close to the Lord, because He wants to personally make things better.

The next time your feet are hurting or your wife complains about how bad your feet stink, remember this story and how sin does the same thing to us spiritually.

God Bless and Happy Hunting.

Posted by Mark Newell

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