8Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” [simple_tooltip content=’5 After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.
6 Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, “Lord, are You washing my feet?”
7 Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.”
8 Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.”’](John 13:5-8)[/simple_tooltip]
Peter’s refusal to let Jesus wash his feet came from the knowledge that he was totally unworthy to have the sinless Son of God serve him like a common servant. Peter was correct in his assessment of his relative worth, but what he missed was that God doesn’t minister to us because of our worth but because of His love.
Even though Peter’s attitude looked holy and humble, he was actually resisting God’s will and being proud. Pride is being self-centered and self-willed instead of God-centered and submitted to God’s will. Peter should have been humble enough to know that Jesus knew what He was doing! Instead, he thought he knew better.
This same pride causes many Christians to refuse to let God bless them, thinking they are unworthy of His favor. While it is true that their actions don’t warrant His goodness, they will receive more of the Lord’s blessings when they receive them as an expression of His love and grace toward them.
Misguided humility is every bit as damaging as exaggerated pride. Peter wanted to serve Jesus, but he was too proud to be served by Jesus. Jesus was telling Peter that unless he received His ministry to him, Peter would be unfit to serve Him. Symbolically He was saying, “Peter, you cannot cleanse yourself. You must allow Me to do it.”
You cannot cleanse yourself or others. Be totally dependent on the work of God’s grace in your life, and He will cleanse you and equip you to minister to others. Before you can be the blessing you desire to be to God or to the people around you, you have to let God be the blessing to you that He desires to be.