Before the Festival of Passover, Jesus knew that his time had come to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them fully. 2 Jesus and his disciples were sharing the evening meal. The devil had already provoked Judas, Simon Iscariot’s son, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew the Father had given everything into his hands and that he had come from God and was returning to God. 4 So he got up from the table and took off his robes. Picking up a linen towel, he tied it around his waist. 5 Then he poured water into a washbasin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he was wearing. 6 When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” 7 Jesus replied, “You don’t understand what I’m doing now, but you will understand later.” 8 “No!” Peter said. “You will never wash my feet!” Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t have a place with me.” 9 Simon Peter said, “Lord, not only my feet but also my hands and my head!” 10 Jesus responded, “Those who have bathed need only to have their feet washed, because they are completely clean. You disciples are clean, but not every one of you.” 11 He knew who would betray him. That’s why he said, “Not every one of you is clean.” 12 After he washed the disciples’ feet, he put on his robes and returned to his place at the table. He said to them, “Do you know what I’ve done for you? 13 You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you speak correctly, because I am. 14 If I, your Lord and teacher, have washed your feet, you too must wash each other’s feet. 15 I have given you an example: Just as I have done, you also must do. 16 I assure you, servants aren’t greater than their master, nor are those who are sent greater than the one who sent them. 17 Since you know these things, you will be happy if you do them. 31 When Judas was gone, Jesus said, “Now the Human One has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. 32 If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify the Human One in himself and will glorify him immediately. 33 Little children, I’m with you for a little while longer. You will look for me—but, just as I told the Jewish leaders, I also tell you now—‘Where I’m going, you can’t come.’ 34 “I give you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, so you also must love each other. 35 This is how everyone will know that you are my disciples, when you love each other.” (John 13:1-17, 31b-35, CEB)
Why does Peter think he knows better than Jesus? Hasn’t he learned anything on the travels with Jesus?
I mean if Jesus wants to wash you feet, let him wash you feet, and don’t ask for extra, just be happy with what you get. Makes me think of the phrase many parents use, “you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.” But Peter seems to know better than Jesus.
Aren’t we all that way really though? We think we know what is best for us and Jesus, and ask for the seat next to him in glory. We say this is where we need to go and what we need to do to share the mission of God. We just don’t get it. We call Jesus teacher and master, which he is, but he is also our servant. And that is where we fall short. We want to be teacher and master, but when we get there we are also servant, and on the way we have to serve too.
That is why this night is hard. We need to embrace what Jesus says, who washes the feet of the one who hands him over! We need to serve those who don’t seem to understand the plan and do things their own ways. We need to love everyone, regardless of how they treat us, because that is what God did.
Love your neighbor, which is everyone, as you do your self.
Love People, Love God.