Lesson 36: We All Need Repeated Cleansing

This Lesson is part of John’s Gospel Easy Notes Series.

It was Zechariah who looked forward to a day when a fountain will be opened for cleansing people from sin and impurity (see Zechariah 13:1). The blood of Jesus is that fountain.

This has given rise to these famous lines in the hymn:

There is a fountain filled with blood,
Drawn from Immanuel’s veins;
And sinners, plunged beneath that flood,
Lose all their guilty stains. – William Cowper

All of us came to this cleansing fountain at the beginning of our born again experience and were washed clean in it. But then as life moved on we forgot all about it. We started accumulating dirt in our minds as we continued our daily living in this world.

We were not taught to come to this fountain daily and be cleansed. Cleansing is not a one-time act alone. It is a continual process that we have to go through because we live in a sinful world where our minds constantly brush with sin.

Let us take a look at John 13:10. Peter, understood that without Jesus washing his feet he has no part or fellowship with Jesus. Suddenly Peter who never did anything half-heartedly, jumped in with the thought: “Then Lord, not just my feet but my hands and my head as well (see v. 9).”

What did Jesus say in response? Jesus answered, “A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean, . . .” (see v. 10).

Bath (louo) meant a thorough washing of the entire body; wash (nipto) was descriptive of washing a part of the body, such as the face or hands. Jesus was referring to a common social practice of those days to take a bath before you went for a meal. But travel on dusty roads meant that your feet became dirty. Therefore you needed to wash your feet. It was the custom of those days for slaves to wash one’s feet when one came as a guest. But there was no need to take bath once again.

It is the same in Christian life as well. When you come to Jesus the first time you are thoroughly washed clean by his blood. You are justified by faith in his blood (see Romans 5:1, 3:25)—that is the guilt of your sin; past, present, and future is removed or washed away.

But then sin defiles us every day. You don’t lose your salvation when it happens. But the relationship with Jesus suffers. It is like a little child in the family having committed something wrong hiding and not coming into the presence of the father because there has come guilt in between. Now you need a wash (nipto) and not a bath (louo).

Therefore, each day come to Jesus. Come to the fountain of blood that can never be exhausted. Ask for cleansing that daily defilement brings. Like Peter, do not refuse Jesus when he seeks to wash your feet. But also know that when you are his child you don’t need constant baths but continual washing.

Practical application: Don’t go into an emotional guilt trip when you sin. Instead run to this fountain of blood and be cleansed. Time and again, each day, don’t hesitate to run to this fountain. Be cleansed continually that you may enjoy uninterrupted fellowship with Jesus.

Related Posts:
The Blood of Jesus Christ: What does it mean to you today?
John’s Gospel Easy Notes Lesson 35: Let Us Draw Near to God

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