Lord, Wash Me

There's an episode of the old Andy Griffith TV show, where Andy says something without giving it much thought, and it starts to come back on him. At one point, he holds his foot up, boot still on, looks at Barney and says, "See that foot. How could that big ole foot, all of it, fit in my mouth?" Where the old cliche of sticking our foot in our mouth came from I don't know, but we do it sometimes, don't we?

The Apostle Peter I'm confident loved Jesus dearly. Yes, after Jesus was arrested, Peter lied to save his own skin so to speak, but at other times, he was the first to offer to fight and die for his friend, even sometimes acting impulsively like he did when he cut off Malchus's ear in front of other Roman soldiers.

But Peter was like many of us in that he often reacted with words, and Jesus had to put him in his place a few times. One is recorded in Matthew 16 (also Mark 8), as Jesus is laying out the road ahead, and telling His Apostles that He will be killed in Jerusalem, suffering at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers. But Peter rebuked his Lord, "Never LORD!". "This shall never happen to you". That's when Jesus turns to him and says, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns". Clearly, Peter had Jesus' best interests and safety in mind in his own human reasoning, only problem is that wasn't God's plan.

Another time, (John 13) Peter responded somewhat impulsively as Jesus was washing the feet of His disciples. There is so much to understand about why Jesus did this, but that's for another time. Today, consider that as Jesus came to Peter, Peter asked Him, "Lord, are you going to wash my feet?" to which Jesus replied "you do not realize now what I'm doing but later you will understand". We aren't told what Peter was thinking, but in true Peter fashion, he says "NO!" "You will never wash my feet".

Why Peter said this we aren't told, but it is clear Peter had an objection to his Master washing the feet of His own followers. It would have gone against tradition and against the custom of the time. Servants did the foot washing, not the masters. Perhaps Peter was desiring to make himself lower than his Master, and that's commendable for sure, only thing is, once again Peter didn't have God's plan in mind, but was following his own reasoning.

When Jesus says, "Unless I wash you, you have no part with me", Peter immediately replies, "Then Lord, not just my feet, but my hands and head as well!"

Likely any of us could have been Peter that day, thinking just like Peter was thinking, and reacting just like he did. In any other setting, a servant would have washed the feet of all the guests, so having Jesus do it went against what Peter knew. It was way outside his comfort zone. Yet when he understood why Jesus was doing this, he not only wanted to allow Jesus to continue, but he wanted as much as Jesus was willing to offer.

How well do we understand today, what Jesus has done for us, and continues to do to this very day? How well do we understand that he took our punishment at Calvary. How well do we understand He humbled Himself and left Heaven to come down here to go to that torturous death?

We need to understand. We need to study to know Jesus, not just know 'about' Jesus. We don't want to have Jesus call us Satan when we stick our foot in our mouth, nor do we want to refuse anything else He offers to do for us through the plan God has set in place. Jesus told Peter and the others, "Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean". Jesus is still willing to take care of our dirty feet today! But we must understand the process, and we must know Him, because what He told Peter applies to us today, "Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”