John 13:1-9 (NRSV)
Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet
13 Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2 The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him. And during supper 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, 4 got up from the table,[a] took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. 5 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” 7 Jesus answered, “You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” 8 Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.” 9 Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!”
There are so many times in Peter’s story when I feel he is saying “I’m all in, Jesus!” This is one of those times. Peter doesn’t always understand. He is willing to ask questions for clarification. Sometimes he looks a bit foolish. And we know that as the week progresses we will hear of how fear causes Peter to deny even knowing Christ.
But in this moment, when his refusal to have his feet washed insinuates that that he is holding back, Peter lets Jesus know that he really does want to be in relationship with him. Peter goes from “You will never wash my feet” to “Not only my feet but also my hands and my head!” Peter was offering himself to Jesus in his entirety.
Sometimes it feels difficult to be “all in” with Jesus. Living our faith, speaking prophetically, allowing ourselves to be turned upside down all take risk. When we follow Jesus sometimes we will be asked to make choices that go against the mainstream, or we will find ourselves making sacrifices in response to our faith. Like Peter, sometimes our intentions are good, but we stumble. Yes, it can be difficult.
And yet, being “all in” opens the door to a deepened relationship with Jesus and a new understanding of who He is. It brings us more fully into community and helps us to know God. The choice is ours – again and again and again. Jesus invites us into relationship. He reaches out to us. He lays down his life for us.
During this Holy Week as we move toward the cross, what are the ways that you find yourself being “all in” with Jesus? Is there something that holds you back? How does your relationship with Jesus shape your life?
Gentle Jesus, as you reach out to wash my feet, help me to offer my hands and my head also. Draw me into relationship and remove the fears that keep me from you. Open me to share my prayers and to trust in your love…..
To Listen and Sing: