Unless I Wash You

“No,”  said Peter,  “you shall never wash my feet.”

Jesus answered,  “Unless I was you, you have no part with me.”  John 13:8, 9.

 Peter’s understanding of the situation was less than ours, since he had no frame of reference to interpret Jesus’ actions.  All he saw was the most powerful man he’d ever known taking on the role of a servant and this offended his sense of rightness.  There should be someone to serve Jesus not the other way around.  Criticize Peter and the disciples all you want to, but the fact remains we only understand Jesus’ actions today because they didn’t, and once they did, they told us.

Peter still didn’t get the significance of Jesus’ words for his reaction was over the top as usual.  “Then, Lord,”  Simon Peter replied,  “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”  The ritual seemed strange to men raised in a culture where certain roles were set in stone.  They wondered at His serenity in doing something none of them even thought to do; it never occurred to them to stoop to taking on a servant role because, like us, they clung to whatever position in the social strata they held, fighting for it if necessary.

Jesus might have been slightly amused by Peter’s reply, it was so like him to go over the top with things.  Yet Jesus didn’t rebuke him, instead He showed him and the rest of the disciples the principle of spiritual cleansing:  Once you’re baptized in My name, you’re whole life is washed by My blood, after which you only need to touch up the feet as a symbol of the daily washing of your soul.

It’s one of the most important revelations of Jesus’ ministry, in my estimation.  We don’t have to continuously redo the baptism ceremony when we sin because our past is buried.  All we’re obligated to now is to wash the feet as sign of the upkeep of our soul.  Many of us feel we’ve dropped to the end of the line and need to be re-established into the kingdom of God when we sin and fall on our spiritual nose.  Jesus tells us that is unnecessary, which means all we have to do is get back up and carry one from where we landed, though it may take a while for us to get over our bruises and stop the nose from bleeding.

If this is how God deals with us in our sin, how should we deal with those who sin against us?


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2 Responses to “Unless I Wash You”

  1. tlc4women Says:

    Way off topic but this post made me realize the need for some who have fallen away to request to be baptized again.

  2. jonnysoundsketch2 Says:

    Yeah, it’s more like a marriage vow renewal than a full on marriage ceremony, however. Just cuz we cheat on God doesn’t make us divorced from Him and Baptism symbolizes that very thing.

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