"Psalm 23," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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Jesus Washes Feet
John 13:1-17 Commentary
by Meda Stamper
It has taken 12 chapters to reach the eve of John’s third Passover.
It will take five more to walk through this single evening with Jesus and his own. The long night will not end until the cock crows and Jesus is handed over to Pilate at daybreak in 18:27-28. But first are these five chapters in which Jesus comforts his friends and prepares them to love as he has loved. This begins with the foot washing.
Love is the first main verb of the passage in Greek. It rises from a sea of subordinate clauses in John 13:1-3. Love governs all of that, all that has come before, and all that is to come. Because everything else is subordinate, love and the foot washing as an expression of that love emerge as Jesus’ informed response to all of it: the festival and with it the unfolding of Jesus’ hour, the world beloved and dark, Satan and Judas, Jesus’ own in the world then and now.
The word for end in the phrase “he loved them to the end” appears in its verbal form in John 19:30 where Jesus’ last words on the cross are “It is ...
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Summer 2020 Readings
2020-21 Readings (Year 3)
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL308: Jesus Washes Feet
February 25, 2018
This is the podcast for John 13:1-17, the Narrative Lectionary reading for Feb. 25, 2018, featuring Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Craig Koester, and Karoline Lewis. Podcast recorded at Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, Minn.