Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The night before he was betrayed. John 13:1-17, 31-35

The night before he was betrayed something big was happening in Jesus life. Jesus and his friends gathered for a last and final meal. He knew what was coming: betrayal. But He didn't run or seek to make a bargain to save His own skin. He joined with his friends for supper. His friends didn't know it was the last one. When He told his friends what was about to happen not a one of them understood him. They simply couldn't understand what he was saying or doing that night; not yet anyways.

Even before they ate Jesus started reversing the order of things for His friends. They looked up to him as teacher and leader. And Jesus said he was there to serve. They were ready, that night as Peter said, to follow him all the way to death if necessary. That night they believed in Jesus he was ready to be prophet, priest, and king. It might even be argued that even the one who betrayed him believed in him and thought he was helping the cause along by hand him over so that the world would finally see hims authority and power. Jesus came to reverse everything. Yes he came to be the greatest prophet who knew the heart of every person he spoke to. Yes he came to be the great high priest who would enter the temple once and for all offering himself as the final sacrifice. Yes he came to be Christ the king; but His kingdom is not of this earth. Jesus came to be prophet, priest, and king and suffering servant. And Jesus told them if they want to honor him they have to serve just like he was about to serve them.

The Gospel of John says Jesus took off his outer robe and gathered together a towel and a bowl.


Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” 7 Jesus answered, “You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” John 13:5-7 NRSV
Peter protested. Jesus insisted. Peter said then wash my face and hands too. No Jesus replied. Those parts don't need to be cleaned; only your feet. Jesus was reversing everything not denying his power and honor but setting it aside that we might glimpse the reality of his coming kingdom.

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