Saturday, April 4, 2009

John 13 -- True Confidence

Now the Gospel of John makes a dramatic shift toward the cross. The whole book points to the cross, but now in chapter 13 the move becomes more deliberate. Jesus begins by washing the feet of the disciples. As he gets ready to do this there is a quick line offered by John which is easy to miss, but says the whole thing. "Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God ans was returning to God."(v3)

What would you do if you realized God had placed everything under your power? If all of creation was at your beck and call, would you make your first mighty act kneeling and washing the feet of those around you? Interestingly, the Romans saw Caesar as the one who God had given power over everything. Yet, Caesar uses that power to control, manipulate and oppress. Jesus uses that power to serve and bring freedom.

Jesus is able to be such a servant, not just to the 12, but to you and I, because he was confident in who he was and is. Jesus did not have to worry about impressing others. He didn't have to worry about what others might say. Jesus knew that all of creation was at his fingertips, and because of that he could serve people without reservation. True confidence was the guide.

We often struggle in serving like Jesus because we are placing confidence in false places. We too have all of creation at our fingertips, not by our doing, but through God. Still we function like we must be the ones who make it happen. Our confidence in our ability, or lack the of, to make things happen. Only confidence that comes from knowing who God is, and what God has made available to us is true confidence. Everything else will come up short and leaves wanting.

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