Reflections on the lectionary readings by pastors, preachers, and biblical scholars
Photo by Mary Harrsch
Each Monday we publish Sunday's Coming, an email-only post on the upcoming readings, written by our current Living by the Word columnist.
John 13:1–17, 31b–35
John 13 begins with imminent betrayal, suffering, and death. Understandably, we envision the scene with somber images. But I wonder if we overlook Jesus’ joy.
This is a story of disappointed expectations, of what happens when someone you admire refuses to be who you think they should be.
The Jesus that John shows us in this week’s Gospel text is not a religious robot, unemotionally prepared to end it all for the cause. He sees the risks, feels them.
The binary world of John’s Gospel is well drawn in Jesus’ talk here, and unknowns frame the verse. How could a God of love condemn people? What does it mean to be in darkness?
This account tunes our ears to catch the miraculous reality of an incarnate God walking among us, whose presence brings a new dimension into our ordinary lives of buying and selling.