Up to this point in the Gospel of John, the writer has painted a picture for us of Jesus, the light, who came into the world to bring life. Now, in chapters 13-17, the writer shows us how God loves us, beginning here in chapter 13 with Jesus washing his disciples’ feet. He does it in the middle of the meal, maybe even in the middle of their argument over who among them is “the best.” Jesus gets up, removes his outer robe, and stoops to wash their feet, not only as a sign of cleansing but as an invitation into relationship. Jesus is physically demonstrating the agape – loving by serving, serving by loving, other-preferring – love that distinguishes God’s character and quality. He even washed the feet of Judas who would betray him and Peter who would deny him. Whose feet would we rather not wash? Who would we rather not be in relationship with? Who would we rather not love and serve? It comes down to a question of our own identity. Are we defined by the One who stoops to wash feet? Have we accepted his invitation into relationship, and have we put on his character and quality?
- John 13:1 - 15