Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living ©
He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”
“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
“Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”
(John 13:6-9 (NIV))
Have you ever felt like Simon Peter?
Think about that question for a moment. Simon Peter asked that question because of two reasons.
The first reason was tradition, for washing feet was relegated to a lowly servant and not to someone whom you would call “master.” He did not want to think of Jesus, whom he had followed for several years, as a servant. He was torn by the thought of his master demeaning Himself to the point where He would wash his feet.
I honestly think that the second reason for feeling like this is closely tied to the first reason. Simon was confused. He probably thought, like society at that time, that he may have made a mistake in following Jesus, after all, a person of high position would not lower themselves to such a lowly task.
Fortunately, Simon Peter realized that everything that Jesus had taught turned society upside down. I can imagine the thoughts that went through his head as this scene unfolded. Denial. Anger. And finally, acceptance. Simon Peter probably went through the full spectrum of emotions during this brief conversation with the end result being a full realization that Jesus was washing not only his feet, but he was symbolically washing away his sins.
He went from denial to fully embracing salvation and grace in just a few brief moments.
We tend to think that Peter was arrogant and proud because of the actions portrayed in this passage. I honestly think that Simon Peter needs to be praised for his quick reversal of his thoughts, after all, how many of us would so quickly turn from all that we had been raised to believe and embrace the Savior as servant?
Feeling like Simon Peter is not a bad thing. It means that we are searching for God’s truth and we are struggling because it contradicts what we thought we knew. What is a bad thing is choosing to ignore God’s truth and relying on human tradition and knowledge.
How do you feel?