By Bob Weber | Friday, June 1, 2018 | 12:42 PM
When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus replied, “You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.” “No,” Peter protested, “you will never ever wash my feet!” Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me.” Simon Peter exclaimed, “Then wash my hands and head as well, Lord, not just my feet!” Jesus replied, “A person who has bathed all over does not need to wash, except for the feet, to be entirely clean. And you disciples are clean, but not all of you.” For Jesus knew who would betray him. That is what he meant when he said, “Not all of you are clean.” John 13:6-11 (NLT2)
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:8-9 (ESV)
I've often wondered about what Jesus meant when He told Peter that he would understand why Jesus was washing His feet. If Peter ever did understand, it never made it into the Bible.
We see two main ideas in this scene. First, the disciples were "clean" (except for Judas) but they still needed to have their feet washed. Second, by having their feet washed they could "belong" to Jesus.
I've come to believe that this is a picture of God's children today. We are saved so we are clean. We have been washed all over by the blood of Jesus Christ in whom we have put our faith. But just as Peter's feet had to come into contact with the world so too, we come into contact with the world. The dirt on Peter's feet is a picture of all the dirt we come into contact with in the world today. To truly belong to Jesus, I have to allow Him to wash my feet. I do this by confessing the sin His Spirit convicts me of. I don't wipe away the dirt, Jesus does. Just like Peter, I have to trust Jesus to remove the dirt - to cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I can't remove it myself.
Believing in Christ begins a relationship that will last forever. Jesus doesn't want us to be weighed down by the weight of our sin because it causes us to feel distant from Him. He wants to cleanse us so we can belong to Him.
It's interesting that he did this for them right before they committed themselves to Him by taking the first Lord's Supper. Let me encourage you to do something that is out of the ordinary for most of us. Confess your sin to Christ and then take the Lord's Supper with another Christian who is willing to do the same. It may be the most meaningful time you have ever taken the Lord's Supper. Is it time to let Jesus wash your feet?