The God Who Kneels: A Forty-Day Meditation on John 13
[Cascade Books 2015]
The God Who Kneels is a meditative journey in John 13. The Apostle John opens the door and invites us into the upper room to relive the words and actions of Jesus. He writes us into the scene and gives us a seat at the table. On Thursday night, Jesus gave his followers two simple object lessons during the evening meal. He washed their feet and he broke bread. These two enduring acts go a long way in defining the mission of God and the body of Christ. They merge real hospitality and deep sacrament. The towel and the basin, and the bread and the cup, signify the essence of Jesus’s kingdom strategy. The disciples missed the meaning of Jesus’s message the first time around. Like them we need a fresh experience of the upper room to grasp the Savior’s humility and glory. Less than twenty-four hours before the crucifixion Jesus offered his disciples a vivid parable of the atonement and a true picture of discipleship. This forty-day Lenten series is a close reading of the biblical text revealing the significance of the God who kneels for today’s discipleship.
The Revelation builds conviction, inspires worship, and encourages patient endurance. This is a prison epistle like no other: a disciple-making tract, a manifesto, an extraordinary treatise on Christ and culture, and a canonical climax. We come expecting to learn the ABCs of the end times, and the Apostle John gives us the fullness and fury of his Spirit-inspired praying imagination. Meaning is not found in cleverly devised interpretations, but in God’s redemptive story. The apostle’s purpose was to strengthen the people of God against cultural assimilation and spiritual idolatry, not to stimulate end times speculation. The Revelation is a sustained attack against diluted discipleship with an unrelenting focus on the immediacy of God’s presence in the totality of life. Nothing escapes the gaze of Christ.