“I will love you until you learn to love yourself.” – Jesus… or maybe Ne-Yo
Either way, it’s strong.
I will love you, until YOU figure out how to love YOU. That’ll preach.
It’s Maundy Thursday, the day we remember that nasty scene where Jesus washed the disciples’ feet.
Personally, I would rather die for you than wash your feet, so this is a big deal to me. Jesus is definitely putting on display the full extent of his love. These are pre-soap, dusty road, all day long in Birkenstock toes we’re talking about.
Let’s move on quickly because feet gross me out, especially my own, and they’re everywhere I go.
One time in an interview I told them my feet look like the site of a sausage civil war… yep, in an interview… because I’m an idiot. They offered me the job… and I took it, again because I’m an idiot. But enough about Chicago.
Oh my gosh- on our wedding day we decided to include this as a part of the ceremony. Lindsay looked perfect from head to toe, and then there was me. It was so warm, and I was wearing BRAND NEW black socks. So when I took them off in front of our family and friends, it was devastating. New socks. All that fuzz. The warmth. I literally apologized to her. Haha! Poor girl…
So the text is John 13. They’re done with dinner, and here comes Awkward Jesus, taking off his “outer clothing” and putting on a towel.
He’s washing feet, drying them, the whole shabang. Then he tells everyone that they should keep doing this, like baptisms and communion, but we didn’t really follow that one. Only teenagers at awkward summer camps are forced into these situations. Woof.
Then here comes my hero in the Bible: Saint Pete.
If you’re mad that my hero isn’t Jesus, you can calm down ya Pharisee. Peter is my hero because I think I’ve got a slight chance at being like him. The bar’s too high with Jesus- I’m aiming for the guy who stabbed someone in the face, and then later got the lead pastor gig handed to him by Jesus.
Peter shows up. Jesus is standing there with the towel 11 other people just used… asking Peter to let him wash his feet.
Peter says, “Heck no… you are YOU and I am ME, so nope… never. I’m terrible. You’re amazing. I’m filthy, you literally glow sometimes… I shank faces… you reattach cartilage… nope.”
There’s a whole bunch of people out there that want you to hate you so that somehow you will love Jesus more. They want you to think that you are trash… nothing more than a beggar who stumbled into a King’s castle… but MAN LOOK AT THAT KING, if you can even see that far, you near-sighted poster child for depravity. They want you to think God hates you, but he beat Jesus up for you to show you that he loves you… so believe that, or he’ll beat you up to.
My god we all need counseling.
But the scene is beautiful. Jesus, holding a towel, tells Peter he HAS to let him wash his feet, but Peter says no.
Peter feels unworthy.
Jesus had taught him to “love his neighbor as himself”, but there was a huge problem in that equation: Peter didn’t love himself.
This isn’t a self-help snuggle… it’s right there in the text. Jesus loves Peter, but Peter is rejecting his love because he feels unworthy.
Maybe someone has told you they love you, but now they don’t.
Maybe someone has told you they love you UNCONDITIONALLY, but now they don’t.
Maybe they married your best friend. Just me?
My life is a comedy… grab some popcorn.
But here’s Awkward Jesus, making it more awkward, because he refuses to let anyone feel unlovable. He refuses to let anyone feel unworthy.
That’s what the Thursday before Easter is all about.
You’re loved as you are, not as you imagine you might be some day.