I Wish Jesus Didn’t Know Everything

Jesus’ inability to be surprised is a bit of a hurdle for me. I’m working on a sermon about the foot washing episode in John 13, where the author insists on telling the reader the things Jesus knows that the disciples in the story don’t. Each time the story does that my heart sinks a little. I kind of want to see Jesus surprised.

All the gospels give away that their Galilean subject knows things normal people don’t, like what people are thinking before they say it and the true intentions behind peoples’ gotcha questions. John does it the most, though.

Jesus knew that the hour had come. Jesus knew who was going to betray him. It’s not the plausability of it that gets me; the objection that he couldn’t possibly know those things seems hung up on the wrong element. It’s the drama of it that gets hurt when we’re told as an aside that Jesus knows the ending already.it sucks the tension right out of everything. 

This is another reminder that the gospel is the gospel. It’s not some prototype of a story onto which we can project our own literary or critical conventions to make it do what stories are “supposed” to do.

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