John 13:1,3-5,12,16,34 – Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come to depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. …Knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was returning to God, He got up from the table, laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to dry them with the towel tied around his waist. …So when Jesus had washed their feet and put on his outer garments, he sat down at the table again and said to them, “Do you understand what I have just done for you? …I have given you an example, that just as I have done to you, you also are to do. …A new commandment I give you: love one another; as I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
Maundy Thursday of Holy Week commemorates Jesus’ last supper with His disciples, when He washed their feet and instituted the ordinance of Communion. During the course of the meal He also predicted the imminent events of His betrayal, death and resurrection, as well as Peter’s denial and all the disciples’ abandonment of Him. The word “maundy” means “commandment” and refers to Jesus’ words to His disciples after He had humbly washed their feet–“A new commandment I give you: love one another; as I have loved you, so you must love one another (John 13:34).
We must ever remember that “as I have loved you” is the basis for “love one another.” To the extent we grasp the greatness and significance of Jesus’ love for us, we can love one another. When we lag in love for one another, we can know that our vision of Jesus’ love for us and what it means for us has grown dim.
Can you picture Jesus stooping and washing your feet? Can you feel the shame of that, as His humility exposes and inflames your pride? Can you hear Jesus telling you that your words and deeds will deny and abandon Him, but He will never forsake you? Can you see Him looking from the cross into your eyes and moaning the words, “I am doing this for you“? Will you pause and reflect for just a few minutes on the implications of being loved like that by the Almighty, all-knowing, everywhere-present, eternal, holy (perfect) God?!
Now you can obey the commandment of Commandment (Maundy) Thursday.
Whom among Jesus’ disciples in your church family, outside of your household, will you reach out to in an expression of Jesus’ love today?