First, John connects the Foot Washing scene (ch. 13) with Jesus’ death on the cross through the noun, telos – Knowing his hour had come… “He loved them to the end, to the finish, to the fullness.” Then, before Jesus died, John wrote:
John 19:28 (NRSV) — 28 After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished (teleo), he said (in order to fulfill (teleio) the scripture), “I am thirsty.”
John 19:30 (NRSV) — 30 When Jesus had received the wine, he said, “It is finished (teleo).” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Thus Jesus action of washing feet and dying on the cross reveals the drama between divine goodness and human defensiveness.
As I proposed in chapter nine of In the Midst of Our Storms, Jesus washed the feet of Peter to provoke his resistance. For, when we resist the Lord, we become present with less pretense. Then, it’s no longer about being good little girls or good little boys. We get to be the protective, wounded people we are and welcome Jesus there.
- My smelly, ugly feet will offend you. You’ll go away like others have done.
- I’m not helpless! I detest feeling that way. Go away!
- I’m unworthy for your to bend low to wash my feet. You’ll get infected.
- You’re intruding on my space & trying to control me… Back off!
- Don’t touch my dirty feet. I’ll clean them up good. Then you can come to me when I have cleaned up.
- Do not touch me!
- Hey, I’m the one who serves. If you take that away from me… What will I do? I don’t need you to take care of me.
- Let’s make a deal here, Jesus. You can wash my feet if I can wash yours. Deal? I don’t like feeling vulnerable.
May our resistance become salvific as we learn to welcome Jesus where we are most hurt and vulnerable! –roc,sj