Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet
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!”John 13:8-9
This is one of the most symbolic moments in the Bible: Jesus washing the disciples’ feet.
Why did Peter reject Jesus’s feet-washing service at first?
Feet are stinky. They smell bad. Back in the day before shoes were common, people were lucky if they had sandals. Imagine walking everywhere barefoot in mud all day.
But Jesus’s feet-washing service was not only to physically clean the disciples—it’s a symbol of spiritually cleansing as well. Everyone has sin. However, we might be ashamed to share our deepest darkest secret, even with Jesus.
Simon Peter probably felt he wasn’t worthy for Jesus to clean him, that it was beneath Jesus to serve him. He was also not comfortable being fully vulnerable with Jesus, not wanting to expose the darkest parts of himself.
But Jesus says that if Peter is not willing to be washed, Peter will not have any share. In other words, if we do not open ourselves completely up to Jesus to cleanse us, we won’t inherit eternal life.
Cleansing a wound with alcohol always hurts at first, but it’s the first step to stop the infection. Accepting Jesus is similar—it hurts to have ourselves fully exposed, but it’s the first necessary step on the path to healing.
A New Commandment
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.John 13:34
The whole story of Christianity boils down to love. God loves us. Love the Lord. If I have not love, I am nothing. No matter where you look in the Bible, you will find love.
Jesus tells his disciples to love one another as Jesus loved them. That’s a really tall order.
We are also called to love one another, whether that’s washing one another’s feet, praying for one another, keeping one another accountable, being patient with one another, helping each other out, or sacrificing ourselves for each other.
The ultimate purpose in life is to love.
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