As Jesus tries to wash our feet, do we push Him away or allow Him to cleanse the part of us that is caked with the dirt of this world?
6 So He *came to Simon Peter. He *said to Him, “Lord, do You wash my feet?” 7 Jesus answered and said to him, “What I do you do not realize now, but you will understand hereafter.” 8 Peter *said to Him, “Never shall You wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” 9 Simon Peter *said to Him, “Lord, then wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head.” 10 Jesus *said to him, “He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.”
Generally, when we talk about being “washed by the blood of Jesus,” we don’t think back to this part of the bible. In fact, I never noticed the correlation until today. Remember yesterday we saw Jesus preparing to wash the feet o the disciples. In that time period, everyone walked everywhere. It was customary to no only wash your feet before dinner, but usually a servant of some sort did it for you. Similar practices are held in various countries even to this day. Peter was the most zealous of Jesus of the twelve and we see here that he loves Jesus so much, he thinks it is detestable that Jesus would have to do such a thing. However, we learn a valuable lesson from Jesus here, that it isn’t about something He has to do, but something He gets to do for His closest of friends.
Peter complies once Jesus pulls the “if you truly love me, you will let me do this,” card. Peter then tells Jesus to wash all of him. Verse 10 is a verse that is not very common in bible study circles and sermons. Jesus here uses and alliteration to relate to us a principle of spiritual cleanliness. This relates to confession of sins (whether to others or God Himself) and even forgiveness (or lack thereof). I once heard that someone who was a new believer was convinced or told that they had to pray the “sinner’s prayer” every week in order to maintain their salvation. On the contrary, once we receive God’s forgiveness for our sin, we are then cleansed for good from it. This relates to 1 John 1:9, “9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Likewise, continual repentance and recognition of our current sinfulness is what will help us maintain and build our relationship with God.
Sometimes we like to beat ourselves up over our past. We continually let our past regrets hang over us. We need to deal with them once and for all. We need to truly accept God’s grace, which is sufficient for us and our sinfulness to be cleansed. The original Greek text for confess in this passage means to acknowledge. In acknowledging our sins, we agree with God that we are not perfect and receive His perfect love and grace. Yes folks, that’s all it takes to start and maintain a relationship with Him! Yet, as Jesus told us before, “it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle.”
What past sins do you still hold onto? What are you withholding from God? He is waiting for you to acknowledge your imperfection and accept His perfection.