Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living ©
“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
(John 13:8 (NIV))
Most of us are familiar with this story, but do we truly realize the meaning of the words that Jesus spoke?
It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.
The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
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.”
(John 13:1-7 (NIV))
Peter did not think that either Jesus should make that sacrifice for him or that he was worthy of such a sacrifice. In the days that Jesus walked the earth, washing someone’s feet was a job for someone of a very low position. Peter did not want to think that the man whom he had been following was of such a low position.
It is ironic that Jesus descended from heaven to be one of us. This was already a low position in comparison to what He had held in heaven. Here is the exalted one lowering Himself even further in the eyes of Peter.
Fortunately, Peter did understand that Jesus came to wash away the dirt from our lives in much the same way that a servant would wash away the dirt from the feet of others.
I have never thought about this before, but it is interesting that Jesus would wait until the Passover to perform this. This was an outward symbol of the washing away of sins that He was about to fulfill through His crucifixion and His resurrection.
Even to this day, people are having the reaction that Peter had. People are saying to Jesus that He will never wash their lives. His answer is still the same – “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
Have you allowed Jesus to wash you clean?