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Faith Filled Friday: The Towel

April 15, 2022

Connie Terpack April 15, 2022

Juanita, our instructor, gave out tea towels in our Ladies’ Bible Study this morning. They were a reminder of what Jesus did for his disciples. I thought the story of Jesus using a towel would make an interesting post for Good Friday.

For thousands of years the towel has been used for a wide variety of purposes. The sweaty sportsman wipes his brow with one, the medic grabs a towel to apply pressure to a bleeding wound, or a woman wipes her hands after kneading the bread dough. The mechanic uses a paper towel to wipe the grease off his hands, or a child eagerly washes and dries his hands so he can enjoy a treat.

A towel can be small, just enough for drying hands or dishes. It can also be large to make drying off after a bath quicker or to wrap around your body before racing to answer the phone.

The are also times when you are tempted to “throw in the towel.” The definition of throw in the towel is to quit in defeat. The phrase comes from boxing, in which a fighter indicates surrender by throwing a towel into the ring. An example: “After losing the election, he threw in the towel on his political career.”

‘Go, and never darken my towels again’ is a Groucho Marx line, but I don’t remember it.

The last one I found is crying towel, which is a figurative towel for wiping the tears of a self-pitying individual. It’s slang, circa 1920s and the expression is always used sarcastically. For example, So you didn’t make the first team? Get out the crying towel.

The most significant use of the towel took place when Jesus girded himself with a towel and dried his disciples feet with it. The story is in John 13:1-20.

3 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;

4 He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments and took a bowel, and girded himself.

5 After that he poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.

6 Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet?

7 Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter.

8 Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.

Jesus washed the disciples’ feet to show his willingness to serve, and also to provide an example of how the disciples are supposed to serve others.

May you all have a blessed Easter.

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