It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”
“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
“Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”
Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.
When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
“I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill this passage of Scripture: ‘He who shared my bread has turned against me.’
“I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will trust that I am who I am. Do not let your hearts be troubled. You trust in God; trust also in me."
A reason Jesus washed their feet was that everything He had the Father gave to Him.
said Peter could have no part with Him if he did not let Jesus wash his
feet. Peter then tells Jesus to wash his hands and head also. Jesus
tells Peter that a man is totally clean if only his feet are washed. I
think this pictures our response to God's grace and forgiveness. He
makes us totally clean but we think that He needs to clean us even more.
also see an idea of "Ok God since you are going to serve me then I want
you to do this, this, and this too. I don't want you to serve me just
how you want. I want you to do it my way too." But we can see by Jesus'
response that He knows what we need when He serves us. We ask for things
that are unneccessary at best. Peter had good motives and strong desire
but good motives and strong desire do not equal wise motives and wise
desire. That wisdom comes from God.
Another interesting thing is that
Jesus says "You don't what I am doing now but you will know.." How
often does Jesus "clean" us, meaning change our character and heart, and
we have no idea what He is doing? When we get out of the circumstance
then we see how God was cleaning us.