“He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “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.” (John 13: 6-8)
As we move towards Good Friday and the Resurrection weekend in which we remember Jesus’ death and resurrection, what better time is there to reflect on our relationship with him? The story of Jesus washing his disciple’s feet is a very powerful one. At the same time, it also shows Jesus in a light that can make us uncomfortable. John was the only one of the four Gospel writers to include this story in his book.
The idea of Jesus kneeling in front of us and washing our feet can be as difficult for us as it was for Peter. There is something inside of all of us that cries out, “No, Lord, you shall never wash my feet.” It is too demeaning. It is too difficult to imagine Jesus in such a vulnerable position.
Jesus’ answer to Peter is as powerful now as it was then. “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” In other words, “If I don’t wash you, you do not really belong to me.” God has called each of us to service. Before that, however, he has called us to relationship.
The relationship can only exist if we allow him to wash us and cleanse us from our sin. This is not a one-time experience. We need to come to him regularly and allow to wash our feet. Asking Jesus to wash us where we are the dirtiest is a very humbling thing. And yet, that is exactly why he came.
“When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you?” (John 13:12)
The entire Gospel is contained in this verse. God came to earth as Jesus to wash us and bring us into a relationship with him. Then Jesus took his place at God’s right hand, he “resumed his place.” Now, through the Holy Spirit, we are learning every day what he has done for us.
This week, let’s set aside some time and reflect on what the Easter story really means for us and for the world!
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