Genesis 35-36; John 13; Psalm 23-24
Yesterday we noted how John only draws the disciples into the narrative as he needs them. Always the focus is Christ and it perhaps comes as some surprise to us to realise that we have got so far through the gospel and only hear the words of Peter for a second time. “Lord where are you going”. Jesus’ reply to Peter speaks deeply of the significance of His work that he will accomplish in ‘doing the will of the one who sent me’. “Where I am going, you cannot now come”
John’s focus is not discipleship, for we cannot now go where Jesus goes – he is The Way. At this point in the narrative he has not yet gone. It is only the completed work of Christ, Crucified and Risen that makes possible the life of the disciple. He is the door. His Life must be as it were laid open. He does it all.
Peter is revealed as utterly helpless. He cannot even bring himself to allow Christ to serve him in washing his feet. He who as yet cannot be the passive recipient of service must learn that he can only receive Life. It is Gift. It cannot be grasped, the way to that tree was barred to the sons of Adam. Most especially, here he cannot grasp what it is to be a disciple. He cannot live as a disciple. He cannot take up his cross, he cannot lay down his life. For as yet he has no life of his own to lay down. The life of the disciple of Jesus is the Life of the Risen Christ set free in the world at his resurrection. There is no other Life, there is not other Way, there is no other Truth. It is Gift. It cannot be grasped.
“You have laid a table before me . . .”