John 13:1-11 (ESV)
1 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2 During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, 4 rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. 5 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” 7 Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” 8 Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” 9 Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” 10 Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
This is one of the harder passages of scripture for me to read. Not because I identify with Peter to quickly (which I do), not because the anxiety that I can feel for Judas when he hears Jesus say, “Not all of you are clean.” (Which I do wonder what ran through his mind?) It is not even the fact that Jesus is preparing for His death. It is because I use to sell shoes and have an aversion to feet. I was around them a lot when I was younger and they are not my favourite things. I can’t even begin to imagine how dirty the feet of the disciples would have been.
“You are clean.” This servant act, this show of care becomes a declaration of Truth. “You are clean” yes, Peter was losing sight of what Christ was doing. He often does. In his effort to be in the know and show his loyalty to Jesus, Peter doesn’t want Jesus to lower Himself to the place of washing His feet. How was peter when he was watching the other disciples get their feet washed? Did he sit in judgement? Was he in shock and only realized what Jesus was doing when He was before him? Then when Jesus tells him that he needs to have his feet washed, Peter wants a bath. How often do we run after what we think is the whole of the Truth when it is just a misunderstanding of it?
“You are clean” There is the Truth. We are clean because Jesus has washed us. He has cleansed us by His death and resurrection.
Thank you for cleaning us and making us pure. Thank you for the sacrifice and the example you give to you. We love you Jesus. Amen
Find someone to serve today. Do it because Jesus is our example. Do it as an act of worship because you are clean.