Feet Washing

Journal Entry // April 27, 2022

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 13:8 ESV

Peter in the Gospels is so often a mirror that reflects the inner thoughts and determination of my heart. He is generally the one that is not afraid to put into words the thoughts that are bouncing around in his head. This passage is no different. Jesus is demonstrating humility and the necessity of servant leadership. None of us are above the necessary role of serving others in our leading capacity, but this washing of the feet was a picture of our necessity to have a heart of repentance. Our bodies are clean if we are in Christ and have been cleansed of our sin through the washing of his blood in our life, but our feet get dirty as we continually walk in this world. We need a daily washing of our feet. We need a daily, humble repentance that keeps bringing us back to the grace and mercy of Jesus.

Yet, just like Peter I oftentimes will have an attitude that says, “you will never wash my feet.” Pride and arrogance, fear and unbelief, ignorance and blindness, shame and guilt, willful disobedience. These are some of the many varied reasons that my heart refuses to come to Jesus in daily repentance. More often than not it is never my intention to say these words of Peter to Jesus, but my actions shout them out loud. I have such a small understanding of the grace and love of God for me. I have a misguided notion that the God of the universe tires of me coming to him each and every day with my dirty filthy feet in need of washing once again.

Why do I think this way, when Jesus is clearly demonstrating and telling me the opposite? Because I tend to place my emotions and reactions onto Jesus. I don’t want to come to Jesus for the 1,000th time with this particular sin because he will be tired of it just as I am tired of it. He will think less of me just as I think less of me. He will see me as a failure, just as I see myself as a failure. These are lies from the enemy. These are lies meant to keep me away from the One who truly loves me completely and perfectly. And I believe the lies. I believe that Jesus is just like me.  I believe with my actions that I will make him proud by washing my own feet!

What a deformed manner of thinking. This way of thinking is not making Jesus proud. It is actually keeping me away from the Source of true cleansing and healing. How does Jesus demonstrate his love for me in this life? He does this by washing my feet when I come to him in humility and repentance. How do I demonstrate my love for him? I do this by coming to Jesus in humility and repentance to have my feet washed. Jesus does not tire of this. Jesus does not think poorly of me in this manner. It is quite the opposite. My humble repentance of drawing near to him for cleansing brings a smile to his face.

This is my heart’s desire… to be humble and content in my weakness. It is only in this mindset that I can come and rest in Jesus alone. I can come into his presence and find forgiveness. I can find strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow. He is my source of healing and love. He never grows weary with me. He never grows tired of my need for him. He loves me just as much today as he did yesterday and just as much as he will tomorrow. He loves me to completeness.

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