Reflections for Holy Week: The Kneeling King

This reflection was originally published in the spring 2020 issue of STILLPOINT magazine: “Generation Gordon.”

By Anna Molnar ’21 

 John 13:8, 16 

It’s dark outside, and around the candle-lit meal there’s an air of familiarity and a dose of tension. Jesus’ disciples are gathered for what will be their last meal with him. Something is about to happen—but what?

Suddenly, Jesus bends to one knee and begins to wash his disciples’ feet. They are confused and deny Jesus’ service at first, but warm up to accepting it when Jesus explains that unless he washes them, they cannot be part of him (John 13:8).

Now imagine Jesus kneeling in front of you and washing your feet, making your whole body clean. It’s a simple act of service turned sacred. With ordinary water, he makes us spiritually clean—and in doing so sets us apart, for him, in love.

This isn’t simply because of Jesus’ call to serve others. It’s because he sees you. As you are. Not as you see yourself, but as he sees you, unswayed by your view. And even still, he loves you. Jesus set an example that we should do as he has done for us: “Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him” (John 13:16).

This Easter season, remember that Jesus, the Kneeling King, sees you and loves you as you are. Go and do likewise in love and service to others.