While studying John 13:5-20 one day, I found myself imagining I was with the disciples, about to have Jesus wash my feet. I felt peaceful and warm, knowing all was well with Him there. Gone were my previous thoughts regarding how awkward it would be to have someone as glorious as Jesus stoop down to do a menial task for my benefit. Before this day, I had only understood the lesson of humility taught by this passage. A second, deeper meaning swelled in my heart, helping me to appreciate, once again, the richness of Scripture.
Peter also felt awkward, perhaps even offended, as he said, “Lord, do You wash my feet?” He went a step further though, refusing to allow Jesus to do so (v. 8). However, Jesus wanted Peter and all who would read the Gospels to understand not only that we should be humble servants, but also that the foot washing was symbolic of what He does for us by washing our sins away. This is required of all people who are truly disciples of Jesus.
Peter said to Him, “Never shall You wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, then wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head.” Jesus said to him, “He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.”
Like Peter, I want to have a part of Jesus; I want Him to wash me clean. At the moment I accepted Jesus as my Savior, He gave me a full bath; I was redeemed and viewed by God as righteous. Forevermore, I will have fellowship with God and eventually live with Him for all eternity in heaven.
The problem is that I continue to get my feet dirty while I live in this world. I am still a sinner needing to have the dirt washed away on a daily basis. I wish this wasn’t so, but I’m thankful that God has provided continual redemption for my sins, showing His love for me to the end.
Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.