he took the towel


John 13:4-6

Joh 13:4 He was roused up from the meal, and put aside his outer clothes, took a towel, and tied it around himself.

Joh 13:5 He poured water into a receptacle and began to wash his disciples’ feet and to dry them with the towel tied around him.

Joh 13:6 That was why he came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you washing my feet?”

he took the towel

Peter’s first reaction to the idea of Jesus washing his feet leaps off the page. It is like he was asleep until the moment when he realized what was going on. He pauses only to think “What is going on here?” Then he asks the question.

Behind the question may be a stubborn self reliance. This is, after all, the same bloke who jumped out of the boat to walk on the water to his master. He may have thought that if there was any cleaning needed, he could do it himself.

Or, he may have thought that he was not worthy to be helped by Jesus. Surely the right protocol is that the lesser man gets that Job. Obviously, if there is any washing to be done, Peter should grab the towel.

Either of these motivations is a possible explanation for Peter’s reaction, and he might have had both thoughts as he emerged into full consciousness. My point is that both ideas prevent people from coming to faith in Christ. Whether you think you can save yourself or you think you are not worth saving, you need to reject those thoughts, because they keep people from accepting God’s grace. Jesus took the towel.

Lord, thank you for taking the towel.

About Jefferson Vann

Jefferson Vann is pastor of Piney Grove Advent Christian Church in Delco, North Carolina. You can contact him at marmsky@gmail.com -- !
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