Jn.13:8,9 – “Peter *said to Him, ‘Never shall You wash my feet!’ Jesus answered him, ‘If I do not wash you, you have no place with Me.’ Simon Peter *said to Him, ‘Lord, then wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head!'”
About two years ago my wife and I acquired an RV. We love the outdoors and this has allowed us to take short trips and to enjoy the state parks. Often your feet get muddy and we have a habit of leaving our shoes just outside to avoid the mess. This has reminded me of the custom in Jesus day of washing your feet as you entered a home. The streets were made of dirt and often quite muddy. Wearing sandals in muddy streets is not ideal and could create quite a mess. The solution, wash your feet before you enter a home. The affluent would have a servant that would wash everyone’s feet as they entered the house. In other words, you can’t come in with dirty feet. There is a spiritual application to this- we must be washed to enter God’s house. Water baptism is the image of this; the true washing happens by the work of the Holy Spirit. Here is how Barclay describes this:
“It was the custom that before people went to a feast they bathed themselves. When they came to the house of their host, they did not need to be bathed again; all they needed was to have their feet washed. The washing of the feet was the ceremony which preceded entry into the house where they were to be guests. It was what we might call the washing of entry into the house. So Jesus says to Peter: ‘It is not the bathing of your body that you require. That you can do for yourself. What you need is the washing which marks entry into the household of the faith.’…..In the early Church, and still today, the way in is the way of baptism; baptism is what we might call the washing of entry.”
All of us get our “feet dirty” by just dealing with the daily stuff. It’s not just our first entrance that required washing, we need daily “foot washing” by the Holy Spirit. Maybe you have stepped in some stuff this week. No worries !! The Holy Spirit is always ready for a good foot washing.