In the Harry Potter books and movies, the people in the paintings on the walls move about, so the pictures are constantly changing. While the Bible never changes, each reading can offer me something I never saw before.
When 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 on the page for the first time.
Jesus put His outer garment back on, because He took it off to do the foot washing, of course. When I read this sentence before, I’d assumed He took his outer garment off as a practical matter so He wouldn’t get it wet.
Now 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 observed this kind of vulnerable service from those risking their lives to rescue strangers in accidents, fires, floods, and other natural calamities, but that isn’t the limit to vulnerable service. In our day-to-day relationships we must be emotionally vulnerable to those we serve, as well.
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]