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Christianity is not about good intentions.
“He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, 'Lord do you wash my feet?’ Jesus answered him, ‘What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.’ 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.’ Simon Peter said to him, ‘Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!’ Jesus said to him, ‘The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.” John 13:6-11
While this is a beautiful lesson on washing feet and Christ as a servant leader, I want to focus on Peter. If we remember the story of the Transfiguration, Peter was more concerned about the lodging of the prophets and Jesus, than worshiping Jesus as Lord. Later, when it is time for Jesus’ arrest, Peter is the first to react violently. So here, as Jesus is washing the feet of his beloved disciples, Peter doesn’t want any part of it. Over and over, Peter has good intentions but misses the point.
I don’t believe it was a pride issue. I think that Peter desperately wanted the “best thing” for Jesus. And surely the "best thing" wasn’t Jesus acting like a hired servant and washing the disciple’s feet, much less an arrest with execution to follow! Peter wanted to understand why Jesus was doing such a lowly task. When Jesus explains, it is still not enough for Peter. “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” Peter responds. He still does not understand what Jesus is trying to do.
Isn’t this us, so often? Jesus is asking us to endure something, (for Peter, the washing of his feet) and our response to Jesus is, “Why?” It doesn’t make sense to us. And therefore it can't be the best thing for us... or so we think. Yet God’s thoughts and ways are much higher than our own. Perhaps we should not be asking, “Why?”, but “What?” or “How?” What am I to learn? How am I to obey? Or perhaps we are to say nothing at all. When God silences Peter at the Mount of Transfiguration, He simply says, “Behold my Son.”
Less talking, more beholding.