Peter, Had His Feet Washed

We are studying the life of Peter.  We met Peter as a fisherman, saw his mother-in-law healed and watched him walk on water.

Today, we are taking a look at when Jesus washed Peter’s feet following the Last Supper, in John 13:3-11.

Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come

After the Last Supper, Jesus began washing the disciples feet

from God, and went to God,  He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.

It was with a full consciousness of his divinity, of his divine power and majesty, of the glory that he had and would enjoy with God, that he stooped to the menial office that he was about to fill.
{Johnson’s Notes on the New Testament.}

5 After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.

Jesus washed his disciples’ feet, that he might teach us to think nothing below us, wherein we may promote God’s glory, and the good of our brethren. We must address ourselves to duty, and must lay aside every thing that would hinder us in what we have to do. {Matthew Henry Concise Bible Commentary.}

Washing of feet was a sign of humility

6 Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet?

The language of Peter is that of confusion, of astonishment and of remonstrance. The emphasis is on the word thou. {Johnson’s Notes on the New Testament.}

The others were awed into silence by the strange conduct of their Master; but it accorded with the bold impulsiveness of Peter to challenge the act.  {The Fourfold Gospel: or A Harmony of the Four Gospels.}

7 Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.

Peter did not understand

8 Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.

Washing, with the Jews, was a symbolical act, signifying purification from uncleanliness. That Christ referred to more than a washing with water was understood by Peter as is evident from his reply. Christ could only wash with blood the obedient.   {Johnson’s Notes on the New Testament.}

9 Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.

Peter wanted to wash Jesus feet

We must seek the spiritual meaning. He who is once cleansed by the blood of Christ only needs, after this, to come to Christ for partial cleansing; for the forgiveness of the special sins that make him unclean.  {Johnson’s Notes on the New Testament.}

10 Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.

The language implies that the disciples had bathed before leaving Bethany, and that only their feet, soiled by the journey to Jerusalem, needed to be rewashed. The saying is spiritually true as well, for one who has been washed thoroughly by baptism needs not to be re-baptized.
{The Fourfold Gospel: or A Harmony of the Four Gospels.}

11 For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.

Jesus was teaching the disciples a lesson on being a servant

Jesus knew that Judas was about to betray him.  Judas already had the money in his pocket.  But Judas was not the only person to betray Jesus that night.  Jesus even told Peter that he would deny him three times “before the rooster crows three times” that night.

One recurring theme in Jesus message is to serve others.  Often it’s easy to believe that we are better than others or should not do such a lowly task.  With the washing of the feet, Jesus was showing that no task is too lowly.  Peter did not think that Jesus should perform such a task that was underneath him, but Jesus quickly chastised him.

Are there tasks you feel are beneath you that you do not want to perform?


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