John 13:12-17

Do you know?” Jesus asks in verse 12, and I wonder if an eager someone says, “Yes!”

Does Jesus just let them claim all that knowledge as he smiles to
himself, patting the cloth he has just used in the foot washing ritual.
They think they know, but they have no idea, he may think.

Jesus washes their feet, knowing who they really are. He knows
their stories, remembers how they became friends, and recalls the
moments they have shared. Jesus knows their laughter, their stub-
bornness, their weaknesses. He knows the betrayal that is coming
and what he is about to face.

Does he also know how they will fail? He gives them a specific
calling: do to others as I have done to you (v. 14). He tells them, “I
have shown you what to do.”

When he asks the disciples, “Do you know?” I wonder if Jesus is talking about the knowing you earn when you try something, get it wrong, and keep trying. There is a deep knowing that happens when you wash feet and splash the water. There is a knowing that occurs when you share meals, say the wrong thing, and then reconnect to say the better thing.

Jesus wonders, “Do you know?” “Do you have enough experi- ence?” he asks. If you know, then you do. Knowing and doing are connected, Jesus tells us all. We learn by trying.


When have we hesitated to offer compassionate care because we think we do not know enough? How does doing life together in simple ways help us know our neighbors and our God?


God, guide us to get our hands busy in caring for our neighbors, even if we worry about messing up. Amen.

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