Grace – Dojo Lesson from 11/24admin | November 29, 2008
Pride works in two different ways.
- One way pride works is for us to think we are better than people. (ex: judging others)
- Another way pride works is that we won’t “lower” ourselves to do certain things because of the way we think about ourselves. (ex: asking for help when we need it)
A good example of this is when Peter won’t let Jesus wash his feet in John 13. He tells Jesus that he will never allow him to wash his feet. Peter does not think he is better than Jesus, not by any means. Rather, he thinks he is not worthy to have Jesus wash his feet… and then refuses to let Jesus recognize his unworthiness. This is where pride is hidden. We won’t allow ourselves to be recognized as unworthy.
Jesus’ reply to him is incredible and has to be a rock for each one of us:
Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
Jesus is not giving Peter an emotional ultimatium. He is helping to bring Peter into reality. It is as if he is saying to Peter, “You are right, you are not worthy to have me wash your feet. But I want and choose to do it because of my love for you. Unless you let me do this for you, you will never be made clean.”
Notice how Jesus did not push the basin of water to Peter and politely allow him to wash his own feet (that would have been the proper thing to do, but we know Jesus doesn’t pay attention to those things). Jesus confronts Peter because there is no other way. This is love standing in truth.
Paul writes about this concept in Galations:
I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing! Galations 2:21
This is reality: If righteousness could be gained through us washing our own feet than Jesus died for nothing.
Let us then not throw out God’s gift of grace. We should lay down all of our pride, recognize that we are not above the charity of God, and allow Jesus to love us this way by washing us, even though we don’t deserve any of it. This is way God prefers it.