Daily Thought for: 16th September

PETER: FISHING AND WASHING

Matthew 17. 24-27; 18. 21-22; John 13. 1-17

Peter was always quick to defend his Master against any assault or criticism. When challenged about the payment of tribute money he responded with an emphatic ‘Yes’. The Lord tells Peter that sons, such as Himself, are free, and do not need to pay. This applies to Peter too—both are sons! Sent down to the sea with a hook, Peter discovers that the first fish caught has the appropriate tribute money in its mouth. It is an honour to be a son and it brings many responsibilities. 

One such is forgiveness. Peter felt he had understood the Lord’s teaching and announced that believers should forgive up to seven times. He is on the right track—but very far short. The Lord said that it should be more like seventy times seven! Unlimited forgiveness such as we have received should also be freely given. An unforgiving spirit debilitates our testimony, and is an insult to the Lord. A humble spirit is a real asset. The disciples had gathered for the Last Supper and were already seated, though none had his feet washed. The Lord proceeds to take a towel and a basin and to wash their feet. ‘Lord, dost thou wash my feet?’ ‘Thou shalt never wash my feet!’ ‘Not my feet only, but also my hands and my head’. These statements show Peter’s amazement at the Master’s action and his partial appreciation of what it all meant. Feet washing speaks of a daily moral cleansing in view of fellowship. Total cleansing happened at salvation. As we anticipate having ‘part with Him’ in eternity, so today we should maintain cleanliness from the defilement of the world. We assist our brethren in this by application of the word of God. 

Peter became agitated in the events leading up to the Lord’s arrest. He cut off Malchus’ ear, and he cut himself off from fellowship by denying the Lord thrice. First to a maid at the door, then to some men in the porch, and finally when recognized by a friend of Malchus, with oaths and curses. Just then we read that the Lord turned and looked on Peter. The silent look spoke volumes—Peter went out and wept bitterly. It takes courage and determination to stand up to the world and to maintain our support for the Lord. May we be given grace to do so and avoid the bitter guilt of failure. 

 

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