John 13:9
Simon Peter said to him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.
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(9) Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.—Peter still misunderstands the meaning; but he is true to his loving impulsive character. No part with his Master! He will give up anything, everything. He knows not what this washing means, and cannot conceive that it is fitting for Christ to wash his feet; but if it in any sense can mean having a part with Christ, then not the feet only, but the whole man.

13:1-17 Our Lord Jesus has a people in the world that are his own; he has purchased them, and paid dear for them, and he has set them apart for himself; they devote themselves to him as a peculiar people. Those whom Christ loves, he loves to the end. Nothing can separate a true believer from the love of Christ. We know not when our hour will come, therefore what we have to do in constant preparation for it, ought never to be undone. What way of access the devil has to men's hearts we cannot tell. But some sins are so exceedingly sinful, and there is so little temptation to them from the world and the flesh, that it is plain they are directly from Satan. Jesus washed his disciples' feet, that he might teach us to think nothing below us, wherein we may promote God's glory, and the good of our brethren. We must address ourselves to duty, and must lay aside every thing that would hinder us in what we have to do. Christ washed his disciples' feet, that he might signify to them the value of spiritual washing, and the cleansing of the soul from the pollutions of sin. Our Lord Jesus does many things of which even his own disciples do not for the present know the meaning, but they shall know afterward. We see in the end what was the kindness from events which seemed most cross. And it is not humility, but unbelief, to put away the offers of the gospel, as if too rich to be made to us, or too good news to be true. All those, and those only, who are spiritually washed by Christ, have a part in Christ. All whom Christ owns and saves, he justifies and sanctifies. Peter more than submits; he begs to be washed by Christ. How earnest he is for the purifying grace of the Lord Jesus, and the full effect of it, even upon his hands and head! Those who truly desire to be sanctified, desire to be sanctified throughout, to have the whole man, with all its parts and powers, made pure. The true believer is thus washed when he receives Christ for his salvation. See then what ought to be the daily care of those who through grace are in a justified state, and that is, to wash their feet; to cleanse themselves from daily guilt, and to watch against everything defiling. This should make us the more cautious. From yesterday's pardon, we should be strengthened against this day's temptation. And when hypocrites are discovered, it should be no surprise or cause of stumbling to us. Observe the lesson Christ here taught. Duties are mutual; we must both accept help from our brethren, and afford help to our brethren. When we see our Master serving, we cannot but see how ill it becomes us to domineer. And the same love which led Christ to ransom and reconcile his disciples when enemies, still influences him.Not my feet only ... - Peter, with characteristic readiness and ardor, saw now that everything depended on this. His whole salvation, the entire question of his attachment to his Master, was involved. If to refuse to have his feet washed was to be regarded as evidence that he had no part with Jesus, he was not only willing, but desirous that it should be done; not only anxious that his feet should be cleansed, but his hands and his head - that is, that he should be cleansed entirely, thoroughly. Perhaps he saw the spiritual meaning of the Saviour, and expressed his ardent wish that his whole soul might be made pure by the work of Christ. A true Christian is desirous of being cleansed from all sin. He has no reserve. He wishes not merely that one evil propensity should be removed, but all; that every thought should be brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ 2 Corinthians 10:5; and that his whole body, soul, and spirit should be sanctified wholly and be preserved blameless unto the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, 1 Thessalonians 5:23. His intellect, his will, his affections, his fancy, memory, judgment, he desires should be all brought under the influence of the gospel, and every power of the body and mind be consecrated unto God. 9. Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head—that is, "To be severed from Thee, Lord, is death to me: If that be the meaning of my speech, I tread upon it; and if to be washed of Thee have such significance, then not my feet only, but hands, head, and all, be washed!" This artless expression of clinging, life-and-death attachment to Jesus, and felt dependence upon Him for his whole spiritual well-being, compared with the similar saying in Joh 6:68, 69 (see on [1845]Joh 6:68,69), furnishes such evidence of historic verity such as no thoroughly honest mind can resist. Peter now understandeth what washing it is which our Saviour last spake of, and wholly submits to the will of his Lord and Master; acknowledging himself to be wholly defiled, and to stand in need of a washing all over:

Lord, saith he, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head; that is, my whole man. Simon Peter saith unto him,.... Being convinced of his mistake in not submitting to Christ, fearing he should he deprived of communion with him, than which nothing was more desirable to him, or more highly esteemed of by him, says,

Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head; which shows the sense he had of the general pollution of his nature, and the need he stood in particularly of having his feet, hands, and head washed both as a minister, and a believer. By his "feet" may be meant, either the grace of faith, which is the foot of the soul, by which it goes to Christ, and walks on in him, and was not without its imperfections; or the affections of the mind, which are that to the soul, as feet are to the body; and when they move right, move heavenward, Godward, and Christward; but sometimes they are inordinate, and cleave to the things of this world: or the outward life and conversation is meant, which is attended with daily infirmities; and each of these need washing in the blood of Christ. His "hands" may design all his actions, works, services, duties, and performances, the hand being the instrument of action; and not only the hands of wicked men, but even of saints, need washing, their best righteousnesses being as filthy rags. By his "head" may be meant doctrines and principles imbibed in the mind, and expressed by the lips, which were not free from mistake and pollution, and needed purging and cleansing; for the disciples were not as yet clear from the prejudices of the Jewish nation, especially relating to the nature of the Messiah's kingdom.

Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.
John 13:9. Κύριεκεφαλήν. A moment ago he told his Master He was doing too much: now he tells Him He is doing too little. Self-will gives place slowly. Yet this was the unmistakable expression of devotion. If washing is any requirement for fellowship with Thee, wash me wholly. [“Non pedes solum, quos soli ministri vident; sed manus et caput, quod convivae adspiciunt.” Wetstein.] He is still in error.9. not my feet only] The impetuosity which is so marked a characteristic of S. Peter in the first three Gospels (comp. especially Luke 5:8 and Matthew 16:22), comes out very strongly in his three utterances here. It is incredible that this should be deliberate invention; and if not, the independent authority of this narrative is manifest.John 13:9. Μή, not) Since washing keeps me as one having part with Thee, I give myself up to be washed all over by Thee.—χεῖρας, κεφαλήν, hands, head) A gradation is here presented. A sense of his own uncleanness overwhelming Peter, by reason of the majesty of the Lord, which stooped so low in condescension, dictated these words. Comp. Luke 5:8, [Peter at the draught of fishes] “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”Verse 9. - Simon Peter makes another impetuous and characteristic outburst, and another of his almost glorious mistakes. Once more he will go before and give advice to his Master. The very same Peter who drew the sword in Gethsemane and then fled, who went to the high priest's palace and then denied his Lord; the very same Peter who rushed into the water anal then cried, "Lord, save me, I perish," who cried, even on the Mount of Transfiguration, "Let us build three tabernacles;" and when our Lord spoke of his cross said, "This shall not be done unto thee;" - the same Simon Peter now said to him, "If it comes to the primal experience of being washed by thee in thine unutterable love, if there be any question of part and share with thee in thy work, I will (cf. ver. 37) go with thee to prison and to death, then, blessed Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head; i.e. all my uncovered body; seeing that my power of thinking and all my capacity for service alike need cleansing." Peter not unreasonably felt the weakness and corruption of his nature, and cried out, as we all are often disposed to do, for renewal and sanctification of every faculty and energy of his being. In this he showed a lack of realization of the new world into which grace had brought him, and once more needed correction. Chrysostom says, "In his deprecation be was vehement, in his yielding more vehement, but both came from his love." But even here we see the same eagerness to go beyond the Lord, and dictate the course to be pursued.
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