Friday, October 26, 2012

Daily Bible Reading: Ezekiel 16:1-34 and John 13:1-20

Ezekiel 16:1-34 – Ezekiel is once more told to confront Jerusalem and tell her life story and Yahweh’s involvement in it; it is an allegory: 

Child of both Amorite and Hittite, the city was born because Yahweh was “passing by” and came to her rescue at birth. He watched her grow and at the age of marriage Yahweh bound Himself to her by a Covenant. God gave his love everything – fame, beauty, riches – everything. Word of her riches and beauty spread and she became “infatuated with [her] own beauty” (16:15). She became a veritable prostitute and ultimately sacrificed her own children to these false gods.

“In your whoring, [you] have given your presents away to all your lovers; you have offered them gifts to attract them from everywhere. In your whoring you have done the exact opposite from other women; no one was running after you, so you went and paid them” (16:34).

John 13:1-20 – It is still before the Passover. Jesus is together with his disciples at dinner and he knows his "hour" is upon him. He wants to show his love for "those who were his in the world" (13:1).
During supper Jesus gets up, takes off his outer robe, ties a towel around himself and starts to wash his disciples’ feet. Peter says, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Incredulous, he adds, “You will never wash my feet” (13:8). Jesus tells him, “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me” (13:8). Responding with great emotion – as usual – Peter says it is not enough for Peter that Jesus washes only his feet. He wants him to wash every part of him. Jesus tells him only the feet are necessary for those who have washed and are clean as all of the disciples are except for Judas (13:11).
After this, he tells them that he has given them an example of how they should take his message out to others. He says, “no servant is greater than his master” (13:16).  “[I]f I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet” (13:14).
How are we serving one another? We must learn what Mother Teresa tried to teach the world, that Jesus is to be found in the person right next to us. But it is not only the "suffering" Christ we should see in our neighbor, but the teaching Christ, the serving Christ, the glorified Christ. 

Jesus promises them that “happiness will be yours if you behave accordingly” (13:17). But not everyone in the room will share this happiness. One among his disciples is a rebel – Judas. The literal translation of the quote he cites is “someone has lifted up his heel against me” (New Jerusalem 177). Why they do not put this translation in the text is beyond me; it is so obviously a reference back to the “protoevangelium” in Genesis 3:15, and I think that passage is critical to understanding John’s gospel. He says he is telling them at this point, so that when it comes to pass they will understand that he knew it would happen even before it did.

No comments:

Post a Comment