The chapters chosen for today deal with servanthood, betrayal, promise and deceit.
John 13 begins the last 24 hours before the crucifixion of Jesus. Jesus washed the disciples’ feet before the Passover meal, a task normally performed by the lowest servant. During the meal he announced his betrayal, and then he gave the disciples a new commandment “love one another”. He also predicted Simon Peter’s denial.
In Genesis 28, Jacob went to Paddan Aram to get a wife. On the way he had a dream, commonly known as “Jacob’s Ladder”. Meanwhile, Esau took yet another wife, the daughter of Ishmael. The promise of Jacob’s dream was that God was to give the land to Jacob’s descendants. Jacob made a vow to God and named the place Bethel.
Jacob arrived in Paddan Aram in Genesis 29, fell in love with Rachel, worked seven years to be allowed to marry her, but her father Laban tricked Jacob, so he got Leah instead. Then he worked another “seven years for Rachel”. But it was Leah that gave him his first four children, Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah.