Tuesday, March 11, 2008

scrubbing my filth

John 13.6… Lord, are YOU going to wash MY feet?

I don’t know the future- but Jesus did. And as I am reading John 13 I am profoundly affected by the kind of love that Jesus shows us, demonstrates for us, as an example. It is obvious that Jesus knows that his disciples are going to betray him, to flee from him, to run from any connection to him, and to deny him. He prophecied it to both Judas and Simon Peter. But there in verse 8 Jesus lives a life of love far beyond my ability to know.

Imagine yourself washing feet. Not the “just got out of the tub” kind of feet but the feet of fishermen and tax collectors. The streets of Israel were well traveled by donkeys, goats, sheep and other livestock. Do you know what they do in the road? The germs of the leper, the filth of the livestock, the spittle from the mouths of the vilest of humans are collected in the road and, consequently, on the feet of these disciples. So there is Jesus- washing the dung, and dirt, the germs and filth from the feet of the disciples. He knows full well that they will receive this act of self abasement and love and then… abandon him. ABANDON HIM! And yet he washes, still speaking of the greatness of the Father’s love and still hoping for the revelation to hit pay dirt in the hearts and minds of these disciples.

Faithless friends are a challenge to love. By that I am not speaking of those friendships with those who express no religious allegiance but rather the relationship we have with traitors. Pretty hard to deny the difficulty in that. But there they sit all humbled and needy. And here Jesus kneels… Loving and washing… serving an undeserving humanity. The world isn’t worthy of a love like that… and that is why it is so marvelous!

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