I love that Jesus chose Peter as a disciple. I love that God has preserved stories demonstrating personality quirks of Peter for us to appreciate and sigh, “uh oh, me too!” In the roughly 24 hours leading up to Jesus’ death, we see Peter show lack of wisdom, submission, and obedience. We see Peter make promises he can’t keep and forcefully deny the one he loves. None of it takes away from the love Peter has for the Lord; his friend. None of it takes away from God’s ability or desire to use Peter in a mighty way for His purposes (we’ll soon be in Acts and hear the first post-resurrection sermon proclaimed loudly and boldly by Peter). But it brings to light weaknesses that can be simmering even in the love. It shows cracks in how we, even with good intentions, can misunderstand and fail to fully submit.
“You shall never wash my feet,” Peter declares. He doesn’t understand. He can’t accept his Lord stooping to such a lowly position. His pride that kept him from initially being the one to step up among all the others and wash feet, is now keeping him from allowing Jesus to serve him in this way.
“If I do not wash you, you have no part with me,” Jesus responds.
“Lord, not only my feet, but also my hands and my head,” Peter swings at breakneck speed in the complete opposite direction, still woefully off track. He is taking what he hears Jesus say and deciding how it should happen.
Peter struggled to just be still, listen, trust, and obey Jesus. Instead he is impulsive, reacts based on emotion, analyzes, makes assumptions, and devises his own plan. He isn’t intending to fight Jesus on this, he just hasn’t learned how to surrender. He is still taking his share of control over how it will all go down.
I am so guilty of the same. Like Peter, I really do love Jesus. A lot. But also like Peter, pride keeps me from sacrificially serving others and pride keeps me from allowing others to serve me. Pride keeps me wanting control of how things should happen instead of fully leaning into Jesus’ ways. My type-A-get-it-done personality keeps me from sitting still long enough to listen to all of what God has to say...instead my typical MO is hearing a few words and running while His voice trails behind until inaudible. Pride makes me falsely confident in how I will react in a certain situations, not seeking wisdom and discernment when I need it most.
Praying today that I can fully step into God’s ways, God’s timing, God’s direction. Praying that I allow God’s power to break through my pride so I can serve others well and also allow others to serve where God has called them. Thank you, God, for your patience and persistence. Thank you for your beautiful example of how to serve and love well.
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