"Go wash your hands before you eat."
..words often heard around our house when the grandkids are present. (and occasionally at other times too :)
And I think of Jesus' day...
no sinks, no showers, no bathtubs
no running water...unless it was you running
no bar soap, or quick spurt liquid cleansers
no hot water heaters, no water purifying systems
no toothpaste or brushes, no mirrors or convenience items, no paper products.
Must have been pretty rustic, this following Jesus.
And there were vermin a-plenty. Bugs, and mice, and creepy-crawlies. And no tight-fitting doors, or self-cleaning ovens, or refrigerators, or regular preservative actions.
I would have thought any washing was just plain smart. Like: letting water be poured out of a pitcher and over your elevated hands and letting it run off your elbows. At special times this was how it was done. At least that was a start.
Jesus faced an accusation: "Why do your disciples not wash their hands when they eat?" (Matthew 15:2)
Jesus answered the concern in a few ways:
#1 - What is in inside you - the heart - is overwhelmingly more important than what is on the hands.
#2 - What comes from the heart has the power to "defile" you entirely. Stuff like "evil thoughts, immorality, slander." These things corrupt the whole person - Matthew 15:19
#3 - What goes into the mouth all gets "expelled" through natural processes.
#4 - Make the major focus of your energies the inside track.
So, children have a little bit of Jesus' backing in not being focused on washing hands...of course I'd never make this a focus of "Grampy time." :)
But for all of us, there is a helpful instruction: let the washing of our hands (a great priviledge indeed) become at times a Spirit tweak about a scrub job needed inside.
Ah, there is squeaky clean indeed.