The end was near, and by the end, I mean when Jesus would speak the words, "It is finished," and die for the sins of the world. He prepared his disciples now for what would follow, "that he had come from God and was going back to God" (John 13:3), so he grabbed a towel and began washing his disciples' feet. Peter, believing it undignified of Jesus to play the servant (because he thought himself undignified if he had done the same), told Jesus to stop, but Jesus corrected him. "If I do not wash you, you have no share with me" (John 13:8); if you are to be like me, Peter, you will serve others like I have served you (John 13:15).
Jesus explained he would soon leave them, and "where I am going you cannot come" (John 13:33). Last words are important words, and none more important than what followed, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another" (John 13:34-35). Peter missed the last words completely and returned to the first, "Lord, where are you going?" (John 13:36).
Sometimes, I think Jesus chose Peter because he would ask the questions that expose what all of us are thinking. How often we bicker about where Jesus is, or when he is coming back, neglecting the very thing he told us to do in his absence, to love one another, then wonder at the world's difficulty in recognizing his disciples.
And you got down on your knees and washed my feet.
And you got up on a cross and died in my place.
May I have that same attitude, one of humility and service. One of sacrifice. One of love. May the world know that You are God, my God, because I show them the same love You have shown me.