For I have set an example, that you should also do as I have done to you. John 13: 15
Our reading of John (the Good Book Club) has brought us, this week, to “the Great Discourse,” Jesus’ final teaching of His disciples. Jesus, in John 13-17, this Discourse, he reassures His disciples, challenges them, and guides them into what will be a new reality with them. He commands them to love one another, to take heart, and to “do as I have done to you.”
In one of the great moments in all of the Gospels, Jesus dramatically, yet humbly, takes off his robe, puts a towel around himself, and begins to wash His disciple’s feet before supper. The disciples must have been stunned at Jesus’ humility and we know Peter, at least, was more than a little scandalized. Master’s do not wash their servant’s feet. Yet, in our time of intense division and polarized social and political life, we need to listen to our Lord and Savior more than ever. He beckons that we serve and attend one another and a huge dose of humility goes a very long way to helping us see potential adversaries as Jesus saw His disciples and still sees us, His brothers and sisters: as beloved kin. Can we humble ourselves, in honor of the One who saved us, and dare to listen to folks with whom we disagree? Are we able to see the neediest people in the world through the lens of Jesus’ great love and humble approach to ministry? When we say “yes” to Jesus’ call on our lives we must remember that we say also “yes” to His command for us to do as He has done to us: wash the ‘other’ with love.