Something satisfying wells within me when I make soap. If candle makers scented candles to smell like my mother’s laundry water, I’d buy it! The wonderful combination of washing soda, borax and Fels Naptha™ fills the house with the aroma of clean! You guessed it; I started a batch of laundry detergent this afternoon.
As I stood stirring the pot of melting bar soap I also recalled the words of Jesus: “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.” Jesus spoke those words in the discourse he had with his disciples in John 15. The passage is about Jesus, the Vine. He was preparing them for his soon coming departure. They needed to know how very important the words that He had shared with them on their three-year journey with him throughout Israel we powerful. Those words would sustain them. John and Peter seem to understand and take in the words of Jesus and after the resurrection of Jesus, both apostles used the words of Jesus freely in preaching and in delivering those words in Holy Scripture for us.
Peter, who denied that he knew Jesus the night when Jesus was sentenced to death by crucifixion, truly knew the power of forgiveness. When Jesus’ eyes met his, Peter wept. He wept in remorse. John 21 reveals a clean Peter, on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Jesus questioned Peter, “Do you love me?” At first Peter did not understand. Then his dull mind enlightened—at what? The words of Jesus’ question. The words of Jesus were telling and powerful. After all of the remorse Peter felt, he was forgiven. He knew it. Jesus pointedly asked him, “Do you love me, and then commissioned Peter, “Feed my sheep.”
The same, freeing, inner sense of cleanness is ours when we confess our sin, seek forgiveness, and understand that Jesus wants to use our finite lives.
The laundry detergent can clean my soiled, smelly clothes. The Word of God and taking it by faith is the only cleansing agent for our foul, filthy sins.