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John 13:9

ESV Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!”
NIV Then, Lord,' Simon Peter replied, 'not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!'
NASB Simon Peter *said to Him, 'Lord, then wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head!'
CSB Simon Peter said to him, "Lord, not only my feet, but also my hands and my head."
NLT Simon Peter exclaimed, 'Then wash my hands and head as well, Lord, not just my feet!'
KJV Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.

What does John 13:9 mean?

When Jesus began to wash the feet of the disciples, He acknowledged they would not understand it (John 13:6–7). Despite assurance that understanding would come later, Peter stubbornly refuses to allow his Master to act like a servant (John 13:8). In response, Jesus gives an ultimatum: let Me do this, or else have nothing to do with Me at all.

Peter's response is an appeal for Jesus to not only wash his feet, but his head and hands, as well. Peter seems to understand that this foot-washing has a spiritual meaning. Whatever benefit Jesus is imparting, he wants as much of it as possible. A mention of the hands is often symbolic of work or effort. The head is the center of one's thinking. If Jesus is offering divine "cleansing," Peter sincerely wants that to apply to his behavior and his thoughts.

Still, this is a stubborn and demanding response. As Jesus will point out in the next verse, it falls short of grasping the full meaning. Jesus will distinguish between those who are "bathed" and need only to be "washed," as opposed to those who are entirely unclean. In the context of this exchange with Peter, and a reference to Judas' betrayal, Jesus next remark has major implications for how we interpret salvation.
What is the Gospel?
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