“So Jesus got up from the table, took off His robe, wrapped a towel around His waist, and poured water into a basin. Then He began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel He had around Him.” – John 13:4-5
Being available for Jesus to use us to advance His Kingdom by loving Him and loving others, every day, everywhere is our desire as Kingdom Laborers. Kingdom Laborers don’t sit on the edge of the field or stay in the farmhouse, we are out in the fields and harvesting, allowing Jesus to see, stop, and spend time loving people through us.
In John 13, we get a glimpse into the lives of some of the first Kingdom Laborers. Jesus’ disciples had spent the last few years learning and laboring with Jesus throughout the harvest fields of Israel. They had just completed a lengthy journey to Jerusalem and stopped along the way to raise Lazarus from the dead. Jesus had been teaching the people in the temple and engaging with the Hebrew religious leaders.
It is out of this period of intense and fruitful Kingdom Laboring in the fields with His disciples that Jesus says, “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me…” (John 13:8).
What a statement! The disciples had been with Jesus in the harvest fields through their entire journey, faithfully following and laboring with Him, and now He tells them unless He washes their feet, they will not belong to Him. What might Jesus know about their time of laboring together in the fields that the disciples did not? Could it be that Jesus knew their feet had picked up spiritual dirt and mud and grime as they labored that needed to be washed away so they could fully belong to Him?
When we see, stop, and spend time with people in Kingdom Laboring, we are letting Jesus move through us to give Himself to many who are hurting and in need of spiritual fresh bread and living water. As we give out, some of the spiritual dirt and mud and burdens people carry can get on our feet. This is why the disciples’ spiritual feet got dirty and needed washed. We may begin to feel tired, heavy, drained, and weighed down when our spiritual feet get dirty too. We can so give ourselves away in Kingdom Laboring that we need Jesus to wash our feet to bring us back to the place of rest in belonging to Him.
Being out in the field means we encounter dirt and mud and grime. We get our feet dirty. But knowing the disciples’ feet were dirty with the grime of extended Kingdom Laboring, Jesus prepared water and a towel and washed His disciples’ feet. Then He said, “And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.” – John 13:14-15
Are your feet dirty from the work of Kingdom Laboring? Have you ever invited Jesus to wash your feet? The faithful and true and risen King Jesus is just as capable and willing to wash your feet and my feet today as He was His disciples in John 13. Set aside 15 minutes tonight or tomorrow morning to spend alone in prayer with Jesus. Invite Him to wash your feet. Release all the dirt and grime of years or months or days of Kingdom Laboring to Him. Listen as He washes His Words of cleansing and renewal over you. Then, ask Jesus how you can follow His example and wash the feet of other Kingdom Laborers around you.