What Jesus Did! 'Words or Deeds?' — John 13:6-9

Friday, September 9, 2022

When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, "Lord, are you going to wash my feet?"

Jesus replied, "You don't understand now what I am doing, but someday you will."

"No," Peter protested, "you will never ever wash my feet!"

Jesus replied, "Unless I wash you, you won't belong to me."

Simon Peter exclaimed, "Then wash my hands and head as well, Lord, not just my feet!"

— John 13:6-9 NLT

Key Thought

Peter hasn't learned the lesson. Jesus wants his disciples to demonstrate their faith and love. Talk is cheap. Peter is a big talker. Even in this moment of Jesus' example and sacrifice, Peter wants to talk big. Jesus, however, stoops low and washes Peter's feet, too. Peter does not understand at this moment, but he will later and for the rest of his life. [1] He will then live to demonstrate his faith and loyalty and not just talk about it!

[1] See, for example, Peter's later teaching on service and humility: 1 Peter 4:10-11, 5:5-6.

Today's Prayer

Lord God, please forgive me when my deeds don't match up to my worship words. I know that kind of hypocrisy is revolting to you. I know that it turns my stomach when I recognize my own hypocrisy. So, dear Father, I ask that you forgive me, and please also help me become the person I say that I am and that I want to be. Humble me gently until I am like Jesus, in whose name I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Matthew 7:21
  • James 1:22-25
  • James 2:17


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Illustration of John 13:6-9 NLT — "Then wash my hands and head as well, Lord, not just my feet!"

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.