Christianity 201

March 26, 2013

Serving in the Face of Death

Filed under: Uncategorized — paulthinkingoutloud @ 5:19 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

I find nothing out of character or particularly arresting about Jesus’ decision to wash his disciples feet. That’s totally consistent.

I find the timing absolutely amazing.

John 13 New International Version (NIV)

It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.

The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

Verse 3 is awesome in every sense of the word.  The IVP New Testament Commentary states:

Jesus’ own awareness is also an important part of the context of the footwashing. He knew that the Father had put all things under his power (literally, “into his hands”) and that he had come from God and was returning to God (v. 3). Here in Johannine language is the description of Jesus’ identity in his relation to the Father. This knowledge does not simply give Jesus the security to wash the disciples feet — his sharing in the divine essence is what leads him to wash their feet. Jesus said that he only does what he sees the Father doing (5:19), and this footwashing is not said to be an exception to that rule. John’s introduction to the event ensures that we understand God’s glory is revealed in Jesus in this sign. This is what God himself is like—he washes feet, even the feet of the one who will betray him! Thus, the footwashing is a true sign in the Johannine sense, for it is a revelation of God.

This is a defining moment. This is an image that will burned into the memory of the twelve.

I was reminded of this again this week in a song from Michael Card from his companion CD to his book about Luke. The song is: How Much More a Servant Could He Be? (You can learn more about the project at this blog review, where I discovered the video.)

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