Unworthy, but worth it

If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me (John 13:8)

I was adopted when I was about 18 months old. Was I worthy of that? How could I be? How could I have earned such an act?

Peter felt unworthy to have Jesus wash his feet. It was completely out of order for Jesus to stoop down and wash Peter’s feet. Peter was unworthy.

Jesus did it anyway. He even warned Peter not to refuse him.

(If I’m not mistaken, Peter is the only disciple who ever commanded Jesus to do anything. He also rebuked Jesus on one occasion, and Peter is the only disciple Jesus ever referred to as “Satan”).

But Peter’s refusal was dangerous. It threatened to cut him off from God: “If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me” (John 13:8).

Many people feel that way. They are so unworthy of Jesus they refuse him. Their shame keeps them away. Their unworthiness gets equated with their worth.

We must recognize that Jesus was not washing Peter’s feet because Peter was worthy, but because Peter was worth it. 

God visited all of humanity in Christ, not because we are worthy, but because we are worth it.

Jesus didn’t go to the cross because we are worthy, but because we were worth it.

He stayed on the cross not because we were worthy, but because we were worth it.

We are not worthy of God’s love, but we are worth it. 

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Rick Kelley

I began preaching in Wallace, WV (2000-2002), and worked with the church in Proctor, WV (2002-2004). I graduated from the West Virginia School of Preaching (2004), served the church in Prestonsburg, KY as pulpit minister from 2004-2014, and am currently laboring with the Massillon, OH congregation (2014-present). Outside of biblical studies, I enjoy spending time with my much better half, Samantha, and our six children (Christian, Hannah, Noah, Emma, Evan & Leah). We have an equal parts sweet and goofy Golden Retriever (Max), a rather energetic Australian Shepherd (Mallie), and a very chill Goldendoodle (Moses).

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2 thoughts on “Unworthy, but worth it

  1. Wonderful thoughts! Thank you for sharing.

    Of disciples who commanded Jesus, does Stephen count? “Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. . . . Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.” (Acts 7:59, 60)

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