Daily reading: 24 October

Show you care.

Something to read

He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, ‘Lord, are you going to wash my feet?’ Jesus answered, ‘You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.’ Peter said to him, ‘You will never wash my feet.’ Jesus answered, ‘Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.’ Simon Peter said to him, ‘Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!

John 13:6-9

Something to think about

This passage occurs at the Last Supper and reveals one of the most obvious acts of servanthood and compassion that can ever have taken place. 

Jesus, knowing that his earthly ministry was drawing to a close, began to wash the feet of his disciples. Peter was naturally surprised. After all, Jesus was their leader, someone whose feet they should be washing if anything. 

Peter refused, and in so doing, pledged his allegiance to Jesus once again as his leader. Jesus however knew that this pledge, whilst heartfelt at the time, would not last. Along with the other disciples, Peter would abandon Jesus to the cross and yet Jesus washed their feet. 

It was when Jesus replied to Peter that unless he was able to wash His feet then he would have no part in Him that Peter immediately answered, ‘Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!’ Suddenly there was a challenge issued from Jesus to Peter about what he was prepared, not in this case to give, but to receive. 

We know that Peter didn’t always get it right and that he would even deny knowing Jesus not long after this, but in Peter, I find some comfort. Yes, he was occasionally weak and sometimes slow to understand things, but he was always ready to come back stronger. Though sometimes he failed, he knew that it was in, and through, Jesus that he would find meaning, hope and peace in his life. Aligning ourselves with Peter may not be so bad after all!  

Something to do

Jesus displayed huge compassion to the disciples in this passage when, more appropriately, it seemed the washing of the feet should have been from them to him. Think of something you can do to show your care for someone who might not be expecting it, then do it and know the joy that giving can offer.

Something to pray

Lord Jesus, your love for us is powerful and abundant. Help us to follow your example in showing care and compassion to others that your love and our love for them may be made clear. Amen.

Today’s contributor is Canon Ian Rees, Rector of Central Swansea.