If I Do Not 
Wash You
Water splashing over hands.
Artwork reprinted with permission of artist, 
Magdalena Schotten. All right reserved.

Peter said to Him, "You shall never wash my feet!" (John 13:8 NKJ) 

If any of the disciples could be considered self-sufficient, it would have been Simon Peter. Jesus once said of him, "When you were younger you girded yourself and walked where you wished." It was not his way to let others do for him. He was man enough to
take care of himself, and his pride would not allow otherwise.

It was Peter who wielded the sword in the garden in a misguided attempt to protect his Messiah. It was Peter who had the audacity to walk on water. Peter - the talented Peter - could do whatever he set his heart to do, and didn't need anyone's help.

Or so he thought.

So when Jesus knelt down to wash Peter's feet, Peter acted like Peter. He was willing to help and serve others, but he could not bear the thought of others helping and serving him. "You shall never wash my feet." 

Personally, I don't mind washing my brother's feet. The hard part for me is to let others wash my feet. I can take care of myself, you know. You won't catch me asking others for help. I pull my own weight. I pay my own bills. I fulfill my responsibilities. So don't try
to help me.

But once a year a brother kneels before me and washes my feet. And every year I become embarrassed. Like Peter I say, "You? Washing my feet?" And every year we read the scriptures together, and Jesus tells me, "If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me." This is an ordinance of humility which teaches us to be lowly servants who help our brothers. But sometimes it takes more humility to let others help you.

Lenny C. 

Excerpted from The Sabbath Morning Companion, April 16, 2005, by Lenny Cacchio. 
All rights reserved.

Editor's Note: The beautiful artwork was provided by Magdalena Schotten. More of her artwork can be seen at www.hausgemeindetreff.de/