Jesus had an unwavering sense of identity. Without question, he knew who he was. This is seen clearly in John’s statement that Jesus knew “that he had come from God and was returning to God.” (13:3) It was this understanding that gave direction and purpose for his life, and the ability to serve regardless of circumstances, as indicated by his willingness to wash his disciples’ feet while there in the Upper Room on the eve of his crucifixion and death.

I sometimes wonder what the church, indeed the world, would be like if we who claim to be followers of Jesus had a similar sense of identity. We are God’s children. And as God’s children we are commissioned and given the opportunity to do many things, not the least of which is to serve. God in Christ has served us in many ways. His greatest service to us was in dying for us on the cross, and in so doing washing our feet — metaphorically speaking, our souls. An old hymn puts it this way. “Lay aside your garments that are stained with sin, and be washed in the blood of the Lamb. There’s a fountain flowing for the soul unclean. O be washed in the blood of the Lamb.”