13 It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2 The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 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. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” 7 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” 8 “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” 9 “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” 10 Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.
Peter objects to having his feet washed by His Master and Teacher Jesus because it was such a lowly job. Peter does not understand that Jesus was demonstrating His servant leadership and was asking His disciples to serve each other in this way also. So when Peter objects, Jesus explains that if not, then Peter shall have no part of Him. Peter doesn’t yet understand that Jesus is referring to holiness, not hygiene (Message Bible). So of course, Peter who is all in with Jesus says please wash all of me. Jesus said it is not necessary since Peter has already had a bath and only needs his feet washed. Is Jesus now talking about hygiene? Jesus seems to be talking on different levels all at once.
So while Jesus is demonstrating how he wants his disciples to love and serve one another, I think he is also referring to forgiveness. As David wrote in Psalm 51:7 “wash me and I will be clean”. After we have done the wrong thing, sin makes us feel dirty and unclean. As Christians, when we sin this can be a hard thing to deal with. Personally, when I have sinned, I feel that I have gone back to being fully immersed in sin, as though I was not a Christian anymore. That I am back to where I was before I received Jesus for forgiveness and salvation. But the truth is when I first received Christ, I have “had a bath” and have been made totally clean. When I sin as a Christian, I just need to come to Jesus again and have my “feet washed” and I am totally clean again.
Lord Jesus, I thank you that you allow me to come and have my feet washed. You allow me to come whenever I need to, to be made clean. Thank you for demonstrating your love to me in this way.
Written by Gab Martin