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Lent - Day 17

Day 17  Tuesday


That which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ (1 John 1: 3).


John 13: 1-17
Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. 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.” For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.”


Simon Peter is a large character. He’s all in. He’s the man of grand statements and dramatic gestures. 
As Simon, he made the bold confession “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matt. 16: 16). In reply, Jesus called him “blessed” and named him Peter (which means rock), as the foundation for Christ’s church (Matt. 16: 18). Then just minutes later replied to Jesus’ prediction of his suffering, “Far be it from you, Lord!” (Matt. 16: 22). And Jesus had to say to his Rock, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me” (Matt. 16: 23). 
In this passage, just hours before Jesus’ arrest, we again see Peter’s hot and cold, large, all-out-there character. 
Jesus stripped himself to stoop down to wash his disciples’ feet, the lowliest of servile acts. Peter was horrified! He wanted to prevent his Lord this humiliation. But when Jesus declared it to be a condition of being joined to him, Peter asked for a whole bath! He loved Jesus utterly. Often confusedly, but always whole-heartedly. 
What do you admire about Peter? For me, it’s the fact that even in his failures, Peter loved Jesus so passionately. He moves me to open more of my heart to Christ. 


Lord, you always surprise me!
You asked me to fish where there are no fish.
And then the boat nearly sank with the catch.
Instead of joy, I felt the terror of my sin.
You crushed me with your holiness.
But then you called me to fish with you for people. 
You left us alone to row in the wind and the waves.
When we were nearly spent, you came walking on the water.
I wanted to join you there upon the water.
And you told me “Come!” 
Eyes on you I walked above the sea,
But then I looked down and my fear crushed me.
I squealed like a child for you to save me.
Of course you stretched out your hand.
You let me call you Lord and Christ, the very Son of God.
You said I could be your Rock.
Then you told me you had to go to Jerusalem to die. 
How could I let you?
Then you crushed me when you called me Satan.
I only wanted to save you and ended up hampering you. 
But always you forgave.
Tonight when we should have been serving you,
You stooped with the basin and the towel.
How could I let you?
But then you crushed me again,
Threatening that I had no share with you.
But Lord, I only want to be with you!
Why do you twist me around like this?
I am ever undone by you.
Ever remade by you.
Ever restored by you.
I so often miss the point,
I do not see you coming.
But do not give up on me.
You know, Lord, you know, I love you.
These are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name (John 20: 31).