He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” John 13:6 ESV
Though foot washing was a common everyday practice in the time when Jesus lived, it was the job of a servant to do that. So without one present the disciples came in and sat down at the banquet table with dirty smelly feet. Why should they be willing to take on the humbling responsibility they each thought to themselves? Luke’s gospel tells us that they were busy arguing about which of them was the most important. Then Jesus got up and walked out of the room. A silence ensued as they wondered where He had gone. Then He appeared in the doorway, with a wash basin in his hands and wearing a towel around his waist.
I once went to India on a short term mission trip. We were visiting a village there and during a meeting they called us to sit at the front. Then the pastor’s daughter thanked us for coming and began to wash our feet. It was humbling to receive such an expression of their love.
That is how the disciples felt as Jesus began to wash their feet. We don’t know what was going through Peter’s mind at that moment but maybe embarrassment just suddenly overwhelmed him. Receiving such a crazy expression of love was more than he knew how to accept. Jesus had taken the job that he had refused.
But the truth of the matter is that what Jesus did for Peter He has also done for all of us. He took on the job no one else wanted – He allowed Himself to be nailed to a cross to wash us from our sins. What kind of crazy extravagant love is that? That is the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord!