John 13, the story of Jesus washing the disciple’s feet, is one of those passages I keep coming back to. In 20 short verses, the good, the bad and the ugly of ministry is laid out.
Jesus gets to spend one last intimate meal with his closest friends, his best friend Peter still does not understand purpose of his ministry, and Jesus will wash Judas’ feet in one last effort to keep him from committing treason.
What a picture.
After three years of intense teaching, no one “gets” what he is doing and one of his own is ready to betray him to the enemy.
If Jesus had trouble getting his team on the right page, should we be surprised when we face the same set of obstacles?
Is it possible that ministry is not so much about getting everyone on the same page as it is about offering grace to those we work with? Maybe that is the message of John 13. In the middle of everyone focused on their own agenda, Jesus keeps offering a second chance.
Nowhere in scripture is it ever recorded that Jesus complained about his disciples. He believed in them even when everything they did seemed to point in a different direction. But I can imagine Jesus washing Judas’ feet, hoping and praying that he would change his mind.
Those who take up the mantle of full-time vocational ministry must be people capable of offering grace regardless of the evidence. Make no mistake, this is not easy.
Are you the type of person who would wash the feet of someone who you knew was going to betray you?