Jesus Washes Feet
When I read the account of our Lord washing the feet of the disciples, I see an illustration of how on a daily basis (minimum) we are to bring our sin to Jesus so that we can be cleansed. A complete bath is not required, for essentially we are clean—you might say that we just need to freshen-up allowing the Lord to remove the filth that we contract as we walk in the world.
As we read the account in John 13, we might notice a couple of other occurrences. First we see that Jesus uncovered Himself in order to cover (and ultimately remove) the sin we have accumulated; a depiction of what He was about to do: allowing Himself to be exposed through false arrest, unlawful trial, and illegal crucifixion. The other thing we tend to overlook is that Jesus washed the feet of Judas also, knowing full well what he [Judas] was about to do. That’s love.
But he who repeats a matter separates friends. Proverbs 17:9b
God, through Solomon, gives us the probable outcome when we opt to reveal the sin of others rather than by love cover them. While the Proverb affords us the truth, this account of Noah in Genesis 8 gives us an illustration that further demonstrates that certainty. To summarize, the flood has come and gone, Noah plants a vineyard, gets drunk, and is ‘uncovered’ by his gossiping son Ham. We pick up the story in verse 22…
And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. But Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both their shoulders, and went backward and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were turned away, and they did not see their father’s nakedness. So Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done to him. Then he said: “Cursed be Canaan; A servant of servants He shall be to his brethren.” Genesis 8:22-25
How Did Noah Know
…Take note, you have sinned against the Lord; and be sure your sin will find you out. Numbers 32:23
How did Noah know that Ham betrayed him? I submit to you that Solomon’s proverbial wisdom provides the only clue we need. Ham’s exploit created a separation between him and his brothers that was evident to Noah when he arose from his drunken stupor. I envision a scene like this: Noah opens his eyes takes a quick inventory of himself. Looking up he sees his boys, but they are not together. He observes and compares the body gestures and the glances between the two factions. Ham stares at the floor; gazes toward the ceiling, avoiding contacting his father’s eyes. Noah was merely able to do what any godly man can do—discern the truth.
Why the Curse
Why then did godly Noah curse Canaan, Ham’s son—it does not seem to line-up with what a loving father would do? I might have some detractors, but I sense that Noah was not imposing a curse, but rather identifying the inevitability of children becoming cursed as a result of being raised by ungodly parents. Today we might say to Ham, “Son, the apple does not fall far from the tree.” That’s less a curse and more a warning and a pronouncement of fact.
Fast-forward to the New Testament
Covered or not, ‘we know’ that Noah sinned–for whatever the reason, Noah got wrapped up in the world and got drunk. Amazingly, even though Jesus Christ had not come on the scene incarnately, godly Noah; faithful Noah is cleansed of all his sin. If you don’t believe me consider the New Testament accounts of Noah or any of the Old Testament patriarchs for that matter—their sins are not recorded. Go look—Abraham, King David, not even Sampson’s sins are mentioned. Do you know why? You know why.
By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. Hebrews 11:7