Knowledge, Glory, Love
Psalm 116:1-2,12-19; Exodus12:1-14; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; John 13:1-17,31b-35
"Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, . . . began to wash the disciples’ feet." This is a beautiful scene. Jesus, in John, is the eternal Logos, the King of the Universe, without whom not one thing was made that was made. The Word became flesh, became limited like us. I think often, we don't know who we are. Psychologists like Erik Erikson might call this 'identity confusion." Jesus became like us in every way, and might have been susceptible to identity confusion, but at this point in his life, he was know confused, he was "knowing."
Who are we? We are people loved by God. Almost everything else in our identity is irrelevant. How do we know that we are loved by God? By staying in relationship with God. The Psalmist says, "I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my supplications. Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live." That's relationship: The Lord listens to us, we talk to the Lord. Jesus had and kept a perfect relationship with God: listening to God, being listened to, calling on the Lord, receiving the love of the Lord. Jesus knew himself, and was not confused. Jesus knew that "the Father had given all things into his hands." I think that means that Jesus knew that he was the king of the universe. I cannot fathom the depths of that knowledge or how it fit into a human personality. Jesus knew that "he had come from God." He knew his eternal-ity. He knew where he came from. Jesus knew he "was going to God." Though, being found in the form of a human and fully understanding what death was, he went to his death knowing that would not be the end. He knew he would be again with God despite the power of death.
At every step this knowledge is also knowledge of glory. He is glorified, God is glorified, they mutually glorify each other. And in the end of this earthly life, he gives one of the few moral imperatives in the Gospel of John: Love one another as I have loved you. It is really cool to me that this is connected here. Don't have identity confusion: you are loved. In this God is glorified. In this God glorifies you that you love one another in like manner. Not like we love each other, but like Jesus has loved us.