I love the Bible. I love it for all the usual reasons Christians love the word of God, but I also love it because it always shows me something new. In the Harry Potter books and movies, the people in the paintings hanging on the walls move about, so the pictures are constantly changing. The Bible never changes, and yet it always offers me something I never saw before.
The last time I read John 13:12-15, the foot washing passage, I paused over the words saying Jesus, “put his outer garment back on,” after washing His disciples’ feet. It was as if that phrase was highlighted, for the first time.
Jesus put His outer garment back on, because He took it off to do the foot washing, of course. Whenever I read this before, I’d assumed He took it off as a practical matter so He wouldn’t get it wet.
Reading this time, I saw something new. I saw a previously overlooked part of Christ’s lesson – for His disciples and for me.
In order to serve, to really serve, we must remove our protective layer, our outer garment, and become vulnerable and genuine. (We’ve seen this kind of vulnerable service from those risking their lives to rescue strangers in the recent floods.)
This truth had been in the Gospel text all the time.
I once was blind, but now I see. Amazing, just amazing.
That’s why I love the Bible.
[Original version September 28, 2014]