Simon Peter was unable to comprehend the condescension that Jesus Christ would go to for him. He was torn with emotional turmoil as Jesus stooped to wash his feet? Simon asked him, "Lord do you wash my feet?" And Jesus answered that he must and that Peter would not understand it until later.
Peter was a man who knew his own sinfulness. He was a man who understood that he was vile and hell-worthy apart from the imputed righteousness of Christ. When he answered Jesus he said the equivalent of, "Not in a million years will you wash my feet!" "No, eternally no, Lord!"
Jesus told him that if he would allow him to wash- then he had no part with Christ. Peter could not imagine life without Christ, even though later that evening he would deny him. Peter cries out, "Not my feet only, but my hands and my head!"
Peter was a man who despite his own sinfulness- was a man that would storm the throne room for grace- he would pursue Christ at all costs, even if he had to appear to be a double-minded man. Peter is an example for all of us. We are to detest the sin within us; and we are to pursue Christ with a fervent pursuit. We are to desire his cleansing daily.
Krummacher, an old German Reformed pastor, noted in 1856, "There are many Christians who know of no other nourishment for their inward life than the moldy bread of long past experience. But no true peace results from this. Inward religion does not consist in a life of morbid security, arising from the recollection of having once received the forgiveness of sins. Where a real spiritual life exists, there is also a constant activity, unceasing striving against sin, repeated humiliation before God, and renewed experience of his favor. Were it otherwise, why should the Lord put into his children's lips that daily petition 'forgive our trespasses'. He that is washed need not be again entirely washed, but only his feet, and that continually."