We Didn’t Get How “He Gets Us” 

When my husband proposed to me over 32 years ago, he took me down to the beach (we lived in California back then), and offered to wash my feet to show how he wanted to treat me in our marriage. It was beautifully symbolic, and of course I said “yes!”

When Jesus offered to wash the feet of His disciples, He wanted to show His disciples how to serve one another in love by doing something that, at that time, was perceived as doing the work of the lowest of servants. The disciples didn’t get it. 

Washing Feet is Symbolic of Our Role in the Body of Christ

Likewise, many Christians did not get the recent Super Bowl commercial where it showed people doing the same thing. Because the people featured in the ad were washing the feet of unlikely pairs, (i.e. a priest washing the feet of a gay man), the backlash was fierce.

Christians were the ones complaining the most. Their biggest concern was that the ad did not show people being transformed by believing in Jesus. They argued saving faith changes people. Yes, I get that. That totally happened to me! I found Jesus when I was 25 years old, coming out of a humanist worldview with nihilistic tendencies. What helped me consider Christ was that someone told me that “no one would ever love you like your Heavenly Father loves you.” It was the love of God that drew me to Christ, not the judgement.

“I don’t get all the criticism from Christians — it just makes us look bad!”
— a friend (who wishes to remain anonymous)

The whole point of this ad was to show how we are to treat each other, loving your neighbor despite our differences. He Gets Us is an ad campaign paid for by a nonprofit organization, Come Near. This is a group of Christians from a variety of backgrounds and denominations. What I love about that is this organization is seeing beyond division and attempting to promote unity in the Body of Christ, which, as Paul says, is made up of many parts (1 Corinthians 12:12-13). Jesus said that we are to love one another and this will help everyone know that we are His disciples (John 13:35). 

We cannot forget this important reminder: “For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? (1 Corinthians 5:12) I always tell people that when you go “fishing,” you catch the fish first before you clean them. (Matthew 4:9 is where Jesus used the analogy of fishing for people.) 

“I believe the He Gets Us movement stops short of saying “but he still wants us to transform instead of conform,” but first there must be love. I, so far, believe the message from them is showing love. And “if we have not love we are nothing but a clanging cymbal.” (1 Corinthians 13:1)  Love must be shown first. As the old saying goes, people don’t care what we know until they know that we care. Some may use this as an excuse, but I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. Also, when the disciples told Jesus that a man was preaching and doing work like Jesus but not being one of them, Jesus told them to leave him alone, because “if he was not against us he was for us.” (whoever gives you a cup of water in my name… Mark 9:38-41). Next, Jesus dined with sinners while they were still sinners. He had to do it for the chance to give them salvation. “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick” (Mark 2:17). Yes, we need to go on to say “Jesus Gets Us, but doesn’t want us to stay that way…” but first comes the love.” – anonymous friend

The best part of this whole campaign is that it got people talking about Jesus! In my opinion, that’s the biggest win of this year’s Super Bowl.


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