Wash Away!

Peter. Gotta love him.

The Gospel of John: John 13.1-11

Read and meditate on John 13.8, 9.
Jesus’ washing His disciples’ feet symbolized more than an aspect of our calling to make disciples.

              8And Peter said to Him, “Lord, You
shall never wash my feet!” “But if I do
not wash you,” Jesus answered, “you no part
shall have with Me.” 9Then Peter answered, “Lord,
then not my feet alone, but wash my head,
and wash my hands as well!”

- John 13.8, 9

1.  Let’s give Peter the benefit of the doubt. What was he saying by objecting to Jesus washing his feet (v. 8)? Was there an element of appropriateness in this? Explain. Complete the following prayer: Lord Jesus, I am not worthy or deserving of even the simplest everyday gift You bestow on me, so help me always to…

2.  On the other hand, Peter was missing an important point about his relationship with Jesus, which the Lord’s washing his feet dramatically illustrated. What was that point? Every moment, Lord, You keep me alive, giving me breath, sight, work, loved ones, and reminding me through them all that…

3.  To what was Jesus referring in the second part of verse 8? How does this washing occur in us? Of what does it consist? What is the effect of it? What makes Jesus uniquely qualified to perform this washing? How do we express this in the church? Thank You, Lord, that You have washed…

4.  What did Jesus mean by having a part with Him? How would you explain to a new believer what it means to have a part with Jesus? A part in what? Of what? For what? Thank You, Lord, that You have given me a part with You, and part that…

5.  Whatever that part is, Peter wanted it (v. 9). But does it seem to you that Peter and Jesus were thinking about the same thing? Do we sometimes get a little confused about what Jesus promises? Explain. Bring together your prayers from questions 1-4 into one prayer.

“As vehement as Peter was in self-deprecation, he was even more vehement in acquiescing. But he did both from love. For why didn’t Jesus say why he was doing what he did, instead of adding a threat? He did so because Peter would not have been persuaded. For had he said, ‘Let this be done to you because I am trying to persuade you to be humble minded,’ Peter would have promised it ten thousand times so that his Master might not do this thing. But now what does Jesus say? He speaks of that which Peter most feared and dreaded—being separated from him. For it is Peter who continually asks, ‘Where are you going?’ Therefore he also said, ‘I will give even my life for you.’ And if, after hearing, ‘What I do you do not understand now, but you will know later,’ he still persisted, much more would he have done so had he learned [the meaning of the action]. Therefore Jesus says, ‘but you shall know later,’ being aware that should he learn it immediately he would still resist.” John Chrysostom (344-407 AD)

How would you describe the part you have with Jesus?

Closing Prayer
The LORD is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked came against me
To eat up my flesh,
My enemies and foes,
They stumbled and fell.
Though an army may encamp against me,
My heart shall not fear;
Though war may rise against me,
In this I will be confident.
One thing I have desired of the LORD,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the LORD
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the LORD,
And to inquire in His temple.

Psalm 27.1-4

Psalm 27.1-6 (Joanna: Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise)
Lord, You are our Light and our Savior most dear!
You guard us with might; therefore, whom shall we fear?
Though evil surround us, our enemies fall;
No harm shall confound us when on You we call.

One thing we request, but to dwell with You, Lord.
Your beauty to test and to think on Your Word.
In trouble You hide us secure in Your grace;
No foe may o’erride us: We sing of Your praise!

T. M. Moore

We are happy to offer each week’s Scriptorium studies in a free weekly PDF, suitable for personal or group use. You can download all the studies in our series on the Gospel of John by clicking here. Please prayerfully consider sharing with The Fellowship of Ailbe through your giving. You can contribute to The Fellowship by clicking the Contribute button at the website or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452.

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from
The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series IV a and b: John, edited by Joel C. Elowsky, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006. Verse translation of John by T. M. Moore.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT. 

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