The Dirty Side of Jesus

Michael K Personal Development, Spirituality 6 Comments

“You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” – John 13:13-15 (NIV)


Let’s take a look at Jesus.


No, not the

Hollywood created…

Blonde hair with a halo…

Long robe with a sash wearing…

Holding His hand in a peace sign in all His selfie’s Jesus.

Instead, I want to look at the authentic Jesus…

The Jesus who as a kid grew up playing in the dust of His dad’s carpentry work room…

The Jesus who’s facial hair likely wasn’t as neatly trimmed as it’s made out to look in all of His European headshots…

The Jesus who probably often smelled some kind of way each evening after walking for miles a day in the hot Israeli sun…

In short, the Jesus who had a dirty side!

Here in John 13, we find Jesus with His disciples right before the Jewish Passover festival. As their dinner meal begins, Jesus does something very strange…

He gets up from the table, grabs a towel and a bowl, fills it with water, and begins washing His disciples’ feet.

Yea…the dusty, musty, “toenails need to be clipped” feet of 11 grown men!

In case we’re tempted to spiritualize this text and strip it of its humanity, we’re given here a clear and vivid depiction of Jesus’ dirty side.

Just imagine for a moment wet mud all over the hands (and possibly clothes) of the Son of God right there in the midst of all of this food that they’ve been eating.

For sure, Jesus could have easily pointed out that His disciples’ feet didn’t live up to His standards. He had every right to order Peter to go and soak his feet before he ate dinner with Him.

But He didn’t.

He chose to get His hands dirty and involve Himself in helping to bring His disciples up to His desired standards.

So what about you?

As a parent, how often do you simply point out times when your kids fail to behave up to your standards…AND to what extent do you get involved in helping them to improve?

As a leader, how frequently do you settle for simply calling out problems that you see…AND how often do you get your hands dirty in helping to create solutions to them?

Jesus went beyond just highlighting what He disliked.

He made a decision to serve His disciples by getting His hands dirty and initiating a solution that raised their quality of life.

Jesus always put the needs of others before Himself.

Choosing to serve others and raise their quality of life will require that you too embrace your dirty side…

But here’s the good news…

You’re never more like Jesus than when you choose to get your hands dirty and serve!

Michael KThe Dirty Side of Jesus

Comments 6

  1. Marian Smith

    Whoa!!!!!! Stopped me in my tracks & makes me want to be a better mom, sibling, co-worker, etc. Leaving others better than we found them is what we’re here for.

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  2. Anonymous

    Mike you reallllllllly nailed it with this one. No pun intended. I am hollering at the effects of this message. Awesome! Awesome! Awesome!

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