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
“You shall never wash my feet,” Peter declares. He doesn’t understand. He can’t accept his Lord stooping to such a lowly position. The pride that kept him from initially being the one to step up among all the others and wash feet is now keeping him from allowing Jesus to serve him in this way.
“If I do not wash you, you have no part with me,” Jesus responds.
“Lord, not only my feet, but also my hands and my head,” Peter swings at breakneck speed in the complete opposite direction, still woefully off track. He is taking what he hears Jesus say and deciding how it should happen.
Peter struggled to just be still, listen, trust, and obey Jesus on many occasions. He was often impulsive. He often reacted based on emotion. He wasn’t intending to fight Jesus on this, he just hadn’t learned how to surrender. He still wanted his share of control over how it would all go down.
I deeply relate to Peter. Like Peter, I really do love Jesus. A lot. But also like Peter, pride keeps me from sacrificially serving others and pride keeps me from allowing others to serve me. Pride keeps me wanting control of how things should happen instead of fully leaning into Jesus’s ways. My will keeps me from sitting still long enough to listen to ALL of what God has to say...instead, my typical M.O. is hearing a few words and running while His voice trails behind until inaudible.
I’m so thankful that God still used Peter—and still uses us – in amazing ways for His glory. Praying today to fully step into God’s plans, God’s timing, God’s direction. Thank you, God, for your patience, persistence, and beautiful example of how to serve and love well.
Questions: Do you see any of yourself in Peter? Are you quick to try to control the narrative around you? What makes it hard for you to be still, listen, trust, and obey Jesus?