On January 17th, 2017, the world will witness a peaceful transition of power in the United States of America. And though our country is deeply divided by partisan conflicts there will be not be a violent overthrow of the government or a military takeover such as a coup d’etat. There will not be a slaughter of the innocents by those who embody the Satan. At least, that has been my experience.
Just over 2000 years ago there was another peaceful transition of power and one not brought about by a popular vote of Jews, Greeks or Romans. Instead, the “electoral college” of Father, Son and Holy Spirit decided that a king would be born. The Creator Word would become a flesh tabernacle and dwell among his creation for some thirty years to inaugurate his Kingdom – a kingdom where heaven and earth would be forever co-joined.
Like the workings of dominions and powers throughout history, much of politics today is about gaining power and control over others and then maintaining power and control over others.
But how did the King of the Glory display his power and control? By washing the feet of his followers.
In this day of the ubiquitous media’s hyperbolic promotion of self-promoting individuals and ego polishing and reality TV narcissism and take-it-to-the-streets identity politics there is One who has transitioned from power and glory… to washing the feet of others.
No one, especially the Jews in Jesus’ time expected a foot washer Messiah. They expected a takeover guy who would abolish Roman rule by force. That was what Judas the revolutionary wanted and thought he “had” in Jesus. But instead, Jesus washed Judas’ feet along with the other disciples. That act was certainly not the macho response expected by angry unsettled Jews like Judas.
Jesus, as a witness of all that his father is and does, revealed to the world his father’s“definition” of power and of love and of truth. In a peaceful transition of power, the holy and invisible Creator God became visible in Christ by emptying himself of his glory and power. Jesus submitted himself to the father and to his creation by taking on the form of a servant. This transition is not something anyone on earth expected to happen. Consider this:
Remember what God said to Moses: “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” -Pentateuch, Exodus 3:5
Fast Forward: “Jesus knew that the Father had given everything into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God. So, he got up from the supper-table, took off his clothes, and wrapped a towel around himself. Then he poured water into a bowl and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel he was wrapped in.” -The Gospel of John 13
Followers of the Way:
“This is how you should think among yourselves – with the mind that you have because you belong to the Messiah, Jesus:
Who, though in God’s form, did not
Regard his equality with God
As something he ought to exploit.
Instead, he emptied himself,
And received the form of a slave,
Being born in the likeness of humans.
And then, having human appearance,
He humbled himself, and became
Obedient to death,
Yes, even the death of the cross.
And so God has greatly exalted him,
And to him in his favor has given
The name which is over all names:
That now at the name of Jesus
Ever knee within heaven shall bow –
On earth, too, and under heaven;
And every tongue confess
That Jesus, Messiah, is Lord,
To the glory of God, the father.”
-Ancient church hymn as recorded in the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Philippian church, chapter 2
And May the Holy Temple Be Rebuilt: