Summary: When Jesus washed Peter's feet, he learned that he needed cleansing and that he needed to become a servant like Jesus.
A. In the opening monologue of the movie Forrest Gump, Tom Hanks’ character recalls his mother’s words about shoes: “My mama always said you could learn a lot from other people’s shoes; where they been…(Pointing to the shoes of the woman sitting next to him on the bench). Those look like comfortable shoes. I wish I had a pair of shoes like them. I bet you could walk all day in shoes like that.”
1. The lady sitting next to Forrest Gump replied, “My feet hurt.”
2. Feet do hurt, especially if you have been walking or standing all day.
3. In fact, experts tell us that there are 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than 100 tendons, muscles, and ligaments in the human foot.
4. Furthermore, foot pain can create pain in the legs, hips, and back.
5. What’s even more astonishing is that the foot has more than 250,000 sweat glands.
6. No wonder our mothers always told us to put on clean socks!
B. Did your family have definite rules about what you could and could not do at the dinner table.
1. Like no elbows on the table, or not talking with food in your mouth, or washing your hands before coming to the table?
2. A minister named Joseph Smill, says that one of the dinner table rules for his family was that nobody sat at their dinner table with bare feet - you had to wear shoes at meals.
3. He says that he often questioned that policy saying, “Mother, I am not planning to pick up my food between my toes. Why do I have to wear shoes?”
4. And his mother would say, “Because your feet are dirty, and we don’t want dirt at the dinner table.”
5. Joseph had a comeback for that: “So the issue is not footwear, the issue is dirt. Mother, what if I wash my feet at the same time as I wash my hands? Then can I come to the table without shoes on?”
6. His mother would say, “No, they are feet and feet are always dirty. Put on some shoes.”
C. Joseph Smill pondered that saying over the years and saw profound spiritual insight in those words.
1. He says, “Feet are always dirty. I don't know that my mother knew that she was making a profound theological statement, but she was. Feet are always dirty. We constantly walk through the valleys of temptation, we wade through the swamps of despondency. We climb all over the jagged boulders of despair, and we run down the slippery slopes of anger. Our feet are always dirty.
2. “But whereas my dirty feet, exposed and grimy, were not welcome at the dinner table, let me tell you about a Table where dirty feet may be placed. Whereas my unshod and unwashed feet were banished from my mother's table, let me tell you this morning about the Father's Table, where, in fact, no other feet but dirty feet may come.”
3. It was dirty feet that showed up at the dinner table of Jesus that day when the last supper took place, but thankfully Jesus knew what to do with dirty feet.
I. The Story
A. Today, as we continue our sermon series on the life of Peter, called “The Touch of the Master’s Hand,” we want to sit with Peter at the last supper and experience what he experienced, and learn what he learned.
1. Ultimately, Peter learned a powerful lesson in what it means to be a servant that night when Jesus washed their feet.
2. You see, the Lord Jesus, on the night before He was betrayed, took a towel, and prepared to wash the feet of His disciples gathered at the Table.
3. He knew those feet were dirty; He knew those lives were unclean, He knew those hearts were impure, but He knew too that He had the remedy - He washed their feet.
B. But I am getting ahead of myself, let’s set the stage for this lesson in service.
1. The disciples had gathered with Jesus for their final meal with him before His crucifixion, but they didn’t know that.
2. They were all there - James and John, Judas, Peter, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Simon the Zealot, and all the rest.
3. Reclining around the low table, they chattered in a nervous tone.
4. The apostles knew that something was up.
5. Jesus seemed pensive and quiet - He talked, but it seemed as if he had something on his mind, and indeed he did.
6. Jesus, as he ate that meal, knew that before long Judas would come with a kiss, the Roman soldiers would come to arrest him with swords, and soon he would be standing before Caiaphas and Herod and Pilate.