Saturday, January 29, 2011
Discerning God pt6
"I still have many things to tell you, but you can't handle them now.But when the Friend comes, the Spirit of the Truth, he will take you by the hand and guide you into all the truth there is. He won't draw attention to himself, but will make sense out of what is about to happen and, indeed, out of all that I have done and said."
John 16/ The Message-Peterson
The Gospel of John opens to us an intimate and personal view of Jesus. The miracles that John records show a very deep and rich display of, Jesus the man. Passages that detail events and instruction are centered around relationships and righteousness. The narrative of Jesus with the Samaritan woman at the well is astounding. Jesus reveals spiritual truth to her that is a foretaste and forecast of Pentecost. His honest and loving conversation created a thirst in her spirit, and ours as well.
The fact that John identifies himself as the, disciple that Jesus loved, is evidence of the intimate quality of the relationship. I believe that the intimacy Jesus lived out will be the very bond that joins John with Mary at the crucifixion. As the earth bound ministry of Jesus is coming to a close he chooses Passover to be his final time of close personal teaching and fellowship. The importance of three years of shared living must be captured and displayed in word and action on this his last night with his disciples. Again, John opens up for us a view of the events not given in the other gospels.
Picture with me the setting for this last time of fellowship between Jesus and the men who followed him. The soft glow from oil lamps brighten the warm light brown of kiln baked brick. Shadows dance on the walls as air moves unseen, yet known, past the lamps. The evening spring air is chilled, at times overpowering the small amount of warmth from the lamps. A table has been prepared for the Passover meal, each symbolic participant in its proper place. There is enough room for thirteen men to recline, talk, laugh, eat and pray.
Near the entrance to the room is a clay basin and water pitcher. Basin and pitcher display areas darkened by heat and kiln ash. Both basin and pitcher, worn by man as they are, soon to be transformed into instruments of grace. The men come in, some with a friend, some by themselves. Their outer cloaks are set aside and after small talk they listen as Jesus bids them recline and celebrate the Passover.
The twelve men know what to expect this Passover celebration. The account of Moses and the first Passover is as much a part of their life as the sandals they wear. What they were not expecting is exactly what Jesus does. He rises from his place at the table and assumes the clothing and posture of a servant. With basin and pitcher he washes feet and disturbs pride and some embarrassment. The basin, water, and towel wash and dry, yet it is the hands of Jesus that would never be forgotten. Those feet of men, base, calloused and dirty are held and cleansing water runs over and in between toes, arches and heels. The message that is given and understood could not be any more explicit. Divinity clothed in humanity demonstrates the humility that is to be the illumination in a deep darkness.