Summary: 5th of 7 messages on the transformation of Simon into Peter. This message focuses on the inner change in character from pride to being a servant.
From Ordinary to Extraordinary
The transformation began in Amazement…
at what Jesus taught and gave to people – both healing and forgiveness
Amazement led to simple obedience…
even when Simon didn’t think it would make a difference
Doubt became faith…
that moved Simon to get out of the boat and walk on water – for a ways
Faith became conviction…
that Jesus was the Messiah and the son of God – even though Simon didn’t understand about the cross of Jesus to come
This story is one of the most memorable incidents in Bible. It was the night before Jesus’ betrayal and crucifixion. It was an intense time in Jesus’ life. His public ministry had ended. Jesus now turns his full attention to his disciples.
Let’s read what John writes about this Simon Peter this Thursday night…
Simon Peter’s Dirty Feet
So during the meal Jesus stood up and took off his outer clothing. Taking a towel, he wrapped it around his waist. Then he poured water into a bowl and began to wash the followers’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
Jesus came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
Jesus answered, “You don’t understand now what I am doing, but you will understand later.”
Peter said, “No, you will never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered, “If I don’t wash your feet, you are not one of my people.”
Simon Peter answered, “Lord, then wash not only my feet, but wash my hands and my head, too!”
Jesus said, “After a person has had a bath, his whole body is clean. He needs only to wash his feet. And you men are clean, but not all of you.” Jesus knew who would turn against him, and that is why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and sat down again. He asked, “Do you understand what I have just done for you? You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that is what I am. If I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash each other’s feet. I did this as an example so that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, a servant is not greater than his master. A messenger is not greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, you will be happy if you do them.
What Jesus Did
The Last week - Thursday Night
I want you to imagine this situation with me for a moment. In that culture the most demeaning task around was to wash the guest’s feet. This was job done by lowest slaves.
It was necessary because people wore sandals did most of their travel by foot. They walked along trails that we not only dusty but also cluttered with camel and donkey dung.
I’m sure that guests arrived with more than dust on their feet. It was a common courtesy for the host to have his slave wash the guest’s feet as they entered the house.
Jesus had sent Peter & John to prepare for their meal together. The food had been cooked. The table had been set. And I’m sure the disciples thought this matter would be taken care of as well. It wasn’t!
As Jesus and the disciples enter the room they see towel & water basin in the corner. They do not see a slave to wash their feet. Perhaps some of them pause as they enter the room, wondering where the servant was—maybe wondering why Peter and John had not taken care of this important detail.
As they recline at the table, each disciple feels a little uncomfortable. “Somebody ought to at least wash Jesus’ feet. But—if I do that, where will that put me on the social pecking order?
I would be at the Bottom of the heap. If I volunteer I’ll get stuck with that job from now on.
Maybe if I just wait—somebody else will do it.
If you’ve been in church more than week, you know that kind of thinking does occur at times. “Somebody needs to take care of the nursery, but that’s not my calling.”
I think maybe each disciple was hoping one of others would volunteer. Each one may have begun to JUSTIFY in own mind why it was not his job to do it.
• “I did it last time—its Matthew’s turn—he hasn’t done it in long time.”
• “Peter and John were supposed to take care of all this-Jesus told them to. One of those guys ought to take care of it.”
• “I came to enjoy a time with the Lord—and now we’ve got this problem”