So, read John 13:1-17.
It’s the story of the time Jesus washed the feet of the disciples.
One time. All twelve. Knowing that Judas was part of a conspiracy to kill him. Knowing that Peter was going to be Peter. Knowing that everyone was going to be everyone.
Knowing that he was going to talk and no one was going to understand immediately. Knowing that the plot development of chapter 12 was going to start crashing in at the end of chapter 17.
In that moment, Jesus washed their feet.
He did it, John says, because having loved them this far, he wanted to love them to the end.
The implication is that loving doesn’t stop when we know that betrayal is imminent. Loving actions don’t have reason to stop being performed when the people you are loving don’t have any appreciation for what you are doing. Loving actions, defined at the end of chapter 12 as doing what God has said to do, continue.
At least that is what Jesus said after washing the feet of the disciples.
I’ve been thinking about this kind of sacrifice, this kind of love. I think that sometimes we think it might be easier to die a noble death on behalf of a noble cause than to get down on our knees and wash someone’s feet. Or clip the toenails on the feet of the one too old to bend over. Or to wash the car of the teenager who won’t appreciate it. Or to tenderly wash the face of the patient who is dying from their own choices.
Or to do the thing you most know needs to be done in the most invisible way you can do it for the most difficult person you know.
Jesus died and then rose so that we can live the way he lived.
Footwashing and all.