What would you do if Jesus was in the room and wanted to wash your feet?
This was the situation that the disciples were faced with in John 13. All seemed to oblige the foot wash, except for Simon.
In this scene, we read of the last supper and some of Jesus’ last words and actions before His death on the cross. Final words and actions are generally important, especially if a person knows death is impending.
Instead of wanting to be pampered and spoiled before the cross, Jesus the Saviour displayed stunning servanthood. John 13:5 says ‘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’. What a moment this must have been. The disciples had watched Him perform many mighty miracles and followed Him everywhere. It was the disciples who should be washing His feet or a house servant at the very least. But Jesus flips the script and examples, and models servanthood leadership.
Peter however wasn’t having it when it came round to his turn for a foot wash. In verses 6 – 10 Peter objects, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” 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.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” 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.”
There is a lot that can be taken from this exchange between the Lord and Peter. But one thing of interest is verse 10 when Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean.” As a believer you have been washed by the blood of Jesus, you are clean, your sin is forgiven, and you are redeemed! But the reality is as we walk through life we still get things wrong; we still mess up, and we still sin. Sometimes that’s an intentional sin and sometimes it isn’t. As Christians, we are forgiven in His sight but still need to confess and repent of sin as we go through life. An excellent way to think of this is in the concept Jesus uses with Peter; let’s reread it: “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean”. Before God, you are clean and saved, but in this life we still need our feet washed so to speak. Our bodies are clean, our souls are saved, but we still get dirty feet; we still can commit sin as we endeavour to follow Jesus. Keeping short accounts with God is incredibly important to a healthy, whole and impacting walk with Jesus, as is outworking His example of serving others.
So in light of this, do your feet need a wash?
Heavenly Father, we worship and praise Your Name. Thank You for the example we find in Jesus and thank You that we are forgiven every time we come in repentance. Lord, help us keep short accounts with You and ‘have our feet washed’ regularly so that we may be close to You and effective for You. Amen.