John 13:1-17 is about feet…
Washing feet… dirty, smelly feet!
We usually read this passage on Maundy Thursday so to deal with it this early in Lent gives us the chance to look at it in a very different context. (We have skipped a chapter so it’s worth reading chapter 12… there are lots of connections!)
In this passage the washing of feet happens during dinner!!! During the last supper.
Foot washing didn’t happen during dinner.
It happened when you arrived to wash away the dirt of the journey.
You did it yourself.
Or a slave did it.
So, there this is something else going on here apart from hygiene.
This is a Gospel moment… but we know that. It’s a demonstration of what love looks like. OK.
But it’s also near the end of the road.
Judas is there. The man who leaves and betrays him.
Peter is there. The man who denies even knowing Jesus…
and both get their feet washed, even though Jesus knows what they both will do.
This is an incredible act of love. Way beyond what we might imagine. Jesus loves them despite their anger and doubt and denial.
Perhaps there is hope for us after all…