This week I was reminded a hundred times, if not more, that I am not Jesus.
I’ll get to that in a moment.
One of the many reasons why I love the Gospel of John is that it takes only twelve chapters to get to the Passover that is Jesus’ crucifixion, and we still have nine chapters left! The Gospel of Mark, by comparison, spends a scant three chapters on the happenings between the Passover, the Crucifixion, and the Resurrection. The Gospel of John includes so much detail, so many stories, and so many beautiful themes that thread through the Gospel that it can be savored for weeks on end, as we will do throughout the rest of Lent.
The scene begins inauspiciously—just Jesus, washing the disciples’ feet. It’s a strange thing for Jesus to be doing if we think about it. Jesus is their Rabbi—their Lord and Teacher. He is in charge. The person who is in charge gets their feet washed by others; he does not do the washing. That’s the point, apparently, because when Peter complains that he would never allow Jesus to become so undignified as to wash his feet Jesus hits him with the ice cold reality: To be a follower requires that you be served, then it requires that you do the serving. It is both/and.
We have the privilege to serve; we get to be served.