By Tamra Dalbey
Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered him, “If I do not 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 13:8-9)
Oh Peter, I can relate! Don’t dirty Yourself with me, Lord. That’s not appropriate for You. I can’t let You serve me in that way.
But oh, how we need to be cleaned!
Jesus’ act of service was a beautiful prophecy of a greater washing. The King went, one by one, around the room serving them individually. This ministers to my soul! Jesus’ redemption is so personal for us.
We no longer have to hide our filthiness and shame, One has come to deal with the problem head on. That we might receive (not reject) His washing. Through our acceptance of His service and sacrifice we might have a portion in Him or (as verse 8 says) a share with Him.
What Peter didn’t yet understand was that his Lord and King was also to be his spotless Passover Lamb.
Our inheritance is in our washing. Our identity is found in the Person who did it—once for all.
The moment I chose Christ, the great exchange was made— He took my sins and gave me His righteousness. Jesus has secured it. This is a constant truth that stands both when I feel alive and when I feel completely unlovely and flawed.
The Bible speaks at length on our identity as the redeemed. These truths crush the lies that we might otherwise believe.
God forgets our sins, but we don’t have that ability. Because of this, we need to take our eyes off who we’ve been in the past (yes, even two minutes ago)… because He wants for us a future. Instead of being stunted by our own self evaluations, we can agree with His declaration of who we are. All our viewpoints and realities bow to His.
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9)
I love this verse! It tells us who we are, and then it gives us our role. Not only does it matter to know who we are in Christ, but beyond that, it matters what we do next. Because we have this blessed assurance, we now get to proclaim the One who gave it.
I also love that it is Peter who has written this verse. The same Peter who initially wouldn’t let Jesus wash him. What a change we see in post-cross Peter! It’s as if the cross had locked in and solidified for him all that Jesus had been saying. Jesus’ death and resurrection spoke authority and power into Peter, to step into his role of apostle.
Why is it so important that we operate in our new identity? I have to share a good analogy that has stayed with me. When we aren’t viewing ourselves rightly we’re like a dislocated shoulder… we’re still alive, we’re just not functioning properly. The dislocated arm can no longer carry the weight of what it was designed for.
The point is that we are meant to infiltrate the world with God’s love, bringing Heaven to Earth… light into deep darkness. Satan wants to keep God’s kids in a state of spiritual amnesia. If he can confuse us then he can immobilize us. He goes after our character, but he can never get the last word. The accuser has to work overtime because we have such a great and perfect Defender. Satan has no argument, because we’re hidden in Christ.
My unbelief is what so often holds me back from conquering dark territories in this life. Me not believing He wants to work through me. Me not feeling worthy. But it’s never been about my worthiness— Jesus has imparted to me His worthiness. If that’s true, it’s powerful. No force can stand against that kind of power.
If only we would live in the revelation that we are who He says we are!
So who are we?
We are God’s children. (John 1:12)
We are God’s friends. (John 15:15)
We are priests. (1 Peter 2:9)
We are heirs. (Romans 8:17)
We are righteous. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
We are alive. (Romans 6:11, 8:10)
We are light. (Matthew 5:14)
We are His. A people for His own possession. This seems so elementary, but it is really important not to miss this one. He doesn’t take ownership of us to treat us harshly. In contrast, He rejoices over us with singing (Zeph 3:17).
God is building something in us. More accurately put, He’s building something with us:
“You yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 2:5)
Peter became one of these living stones. He became so aware of his God-given identity, that he was empowered to teach the bold sermons we see in the book of Acts. Wherever he went there was revival and deliverance from bondage. He lived in the supernatural because of His great belief in God’s abilities. Limitations didn’t intimidate his “new man”. The world was changed through God in him, and by others like him.
It isn’t out of our reach to live like this. God wants to unlock people with truth so they can run faster after their purpose. Thank you Lord, that You remove our heavy yokes (even the ones we give ourselves)!
I love how God changes people’s names. God changed Jacob’s name to Israel. Saul became Paul. And Simon became Peter.
How I pray He changes our names in the same way. That we’d walk out the call He put on our lives with a strength and authority that only He can give. That dark places would be conquered by the Light in us.
“The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from My God out of Heaven, and My own new name.” (Revelation 3:12)
Father, may this verse prophecy and speak to our future— starting even today. Help us understand and APPRECIATE the newness of life You purchased for us with Your cross. That we wouldn’t allow any wrong thinking to diminish what You paid so great a price for. I pray this truth wouldn’t produce in us a sense of entitlement… but rather abandonment. That we’d respond in WORSHIP— knowing we don’t deserve any of it. Thank You for rewriting all that we are.
All we are is Yours, Lord.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Cor 5:17)