Most people have heard of Good Friday and of course Easter Sunday but what about Maundy Thursday? What in the world does Maundy mean? Maundy comes from the Latin word mandatum, which translates to commandment. On this day, while Jesus is dining with his disciples during the Last Supper He gives them this commandment:
“I am giving you a new command. You must love each other, just as I have loved you. If you love each other, everyone will know that you are my disciples.” – John 13:34-35
How did Jesus love? He loved by becoming a servant.
“Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” John 13:2-17
God, who came down to Earth in human form as Jesus, insisted on washing the feet of his disciples. In today’s world most would consider this an undesirable job but in Jesus’ time it may have been even more undesirable. Animals walked the streets of Jerusalem on unpaved roads so you can imagine the dirt, animal waste, and other grime on people’s feet. Picturing this scene in my mind of Jesus modeling how we are to love is humbling. Jesus did a lot more than become a lowly servant and wash his friends’ feet. His hands and his feet were nailed to a cross and he took on every single one of my sins and your sins. His servant hearted love for us is inconceivable for me at times.
This Easter season and throughout the rest of the year let’s love each other the way Jesus commanded so that others will know our service comes not out of the goodness of our own hearts, but out of the goodness of Jesus because He is in our hearts.
- Why does Jesus say it’s important that we love each other?
- Think of a “dirty” job God may be calling you to do and challenge yourself to do it this week.
- What are some practical ways you can love with a servant heart in your current relationships whether it is with a friend, spouse, coworker or acquaintance?