Monday, March 3, 2008

Getting In - Freedom to Hope to Inspiration

John 13

8Peter said to Him, "Never shall You wash my feet!" Jesus answered him, "If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me."

9Simon Peter said to Him, "Lord, then wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head."

10Jesus said to him, "He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you."

. . .

21When Jesus had said this, He became troubled in spirit, and testified and said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, that one of you will betray Me."
22The disciples began looking at one another, at a loss to know of which one He was speaking.

* * *

The direct and obvious reading as far as I can tell is that Jesus' declaration totally boggled them: "The disciples . . . [were] at a loss to know of which one he was speaking . . ."

Reflecting on my own depraved nature, I got to thinking this morning how different my response might have been.

I would have known who he was talking about:

"Wow. James or Andrew. They are always grasping to be #1 in his kingdom. They're not disciples; they want prestige and power."


"Probably Peter. That guy's so impulsive like that rocky ground Jesus was talking about - quick sprout, but no endurance. He seems so spiritual then he just falls apart. Flaky."


"Thomas. That guy really doesn't trust Jesus."


"Me. I knew I'd fail him. I'm like that - so weak, my devotion is so little and far between.

"He knows how small my faith is.

"I'm so unloving. I'm so embarrassed of that time I shooed away those kids . . . and I was totally repulsed when he talked with that Samaritan woman or that time he told that story where the Samaratin was a hero."

I find myself thinking, "Wow! The rest of the 12 got in?!? Doubting Thomas? Grasping Andrew and James? The disciples who shooed away innocent children? The bigots against Gentiles and Samaritans? Three-times-rejecting-Peter?"

The martyrs get in, the faithful prayer-journalers, Bible-readers, quiet-timers, sick-visiters, charitable-givers, volunteers, Christian social activists - I can see them getting in, but Jesus who "knows all men" allows all those other guys in?"

I feel an inner, "WOO-HOO!" I can get in! He'll take me even if I'm all those awful things: unloving, doubting, bigotted, selfish, proud, irresponsible, a bad witness . . .

Maybe you're thinking, "Yeah, but that's a pretty pathetic aim." I'm thinking that too, and truly, that would be a pathetic use of the life Jesus offers. Like winning a shopping spree and spending it on those quarter turnstyles at the front of the grocery store for handfuls of Skittles. But . . . sometimes I think, "I can't possibly be in." I've even gotten the feeling that others are thinking of me, "She can't possibly be in." I've thought, "X will probably never get in."

But the retrobate can get in. I just feel some freedom. "I'm in!"

And I feel some hope, "Maybe they'll get in!"

And some inspiration, "This guy's amazing; He knows I'm not and He still wants to hang out with me. I want to hang out with Him, too. 'Lord, then wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head.'"

No comments: