John 13: 3-8 (NIV): 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” 7 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” 8 “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
We talk a lot about why Jesus washed his disciples’ feet. He was showing that leaders in the Kingdom of God are servants, humble, and willing to forgive. The disciples had just been arguing among themselves about which of them would be the greatest when Jesus took the throne (in his physical kingdom that never happened.) Luke tells us this in his Gospel. Jesus put a towel around his waist and showed them what a true leader looks like.
But I want us to notice Peter’s reaction when Jesus came to him to wash his feet. I think it says a lot about people. Peter didn’t want to accept charity. He didn’t want to humble himself enough to let Jesus stoop and wash his feet. It just didn’t seem right to him to allow this man, whom he thought was about to be crowned king, to stoop before him and wash his dirty feet.
Peter had a pride issue and so do a lot of people. It takes a humble person to accept God’s charity – his free gift of salvation. A lot of people say, “No, I will not allow anyone to bless me like that; I will not let someone humble himself at my expense. I will not accept charity. I will take care of myself.”
But the Bible says God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Jesus stood a child among his disciples and said, “If you do not come like a child, you will never enter the Kingdom of God.” We must humble ourselves enough to accept God’s grace – his charity – if we are going to be saved. Don’t let pride keep you from the Kingdom. Jesus told Peter, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” We must humble ourselves and allow him to wash us clean so we can enter into God’s Kingdom.