Thursday, April 5, 2012
Let me love you.
With chapter 13 John begins the second half of his Gospel, often called The Book of Glory. He begins, "Jesus knew that his hour had come to pass from this world to the Father....that he had come from God and was returning to God." His "hour" is his dying and rising into God.
This hour is powered by love. John says, "Having loved his own who were in this world he loved them to the end." The Greek phrase translated "to the end" means both "to the end of his hour" and "to the utmost." Jesus loves his disciples and us with his whole heart and this perfect love lasts until the end of his rising. His returning to God is an eternal moment.
To show how willing he is to give himself in love for his disciples he kneels before them and washes their dirty feet. This is completely improper, so not the way things are done. Peter refuses to let Jesus wash his feet. Jesus, in effect, says "Let me love you." Jesus wants to show Peter his self-giving love not only by washing his feet but by going to his death on the Cross. "Let me do this for you," Jesus says, "and I expect you to do this for one another. Let me love you."