Imagine you’ve been asked to a dinner party for the small company you work for. When dinner is done and people are sitting and chatting while dishes are being taken away, your boss has quietly gone to the corner of the room and stripped down to his underwear and with a jug of bottled water, starts going down the line of guests and begins washing their feet.
Besides being the basis for a huge lawsuit – how would something like that make you feel? Would it unnerve you? Would you protest this action?
We’re going to be reading John 13:1-17 this Sunday, and the events described above sort of play out in our text. Sometimes we pass this strange display off as a cultural thing, something that everyone was accustomed to – but we have nothing to support that claim. Actually, just the opposite. Foot washing happened, but by and large, guests at a home would wash their own feet. Jewish servants were not required to do this sort of humiliating and intimate thing. Only gentile slaves were known to do something like this.
John sets the stage for this event by saying that Jesus had become aware that all things were in his hands…that is, he wielded the supreme authority of God. So with that knowledge, what did Jesus do with those hands, very first thing?
I don’t have a lot of questions to prod you with this week – just that image to ponder. If Jesus is our greatest revelation of God…who IS God as we see him on display in this section?
This is humbling, challenging and potentially life-altering stuff. Hope to see you this Sunday.