Passion Week: Thursday

by Julie Jewell

Most people have heard of Good Friday and of course Easter Sunday but what about Maundy Thursday? Maundy comes from the Latin word mandatum, which translates to commandment. On this day, while Jesus was dining with his disciples during the Last Supper, He gives them the 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

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. Mark 10:45

Our King Jesus who had every right to be served chose instead to be the servant. He chose to be mistreated, beaten and die a horrendous death on the cross to take the place of your sin and mine. He chose to give us the gift of grace even though we did nothing to deserve it. Jesus’ ultimate example of being the servant was countercultural then and continues to be countercultural today. Jesus tells his disciples and tells us that we must love each other the way He has loved us. Why is this so important? He says that if we do this everyone will know that we are His disciples. Can you imagine if we as Christians decided to take this command seriously in our everyday lives? What if we decided to love like Jesus not because others deserve it or don’t deserve it, but because it’s what Jesus did for us and it’s what He commanded us to do for others? I wonder if the world would have a different perception of Christians. When we are at work, the grocery store, driving, in relationships with others, let us be reminded that our expectation should not be that we are to be served, but that we are to serve and love like Jesus has loved us.

  1. Where can you become a servant today?
  2. What is an area in your life that is hard for you to love like Jesus (at work, in a relationship, etc.)? Ask God to intervene and give you His power to love the way He does.
  3. How do you think our community would be changed if all the Christians in the NRV decided to follow Jesus’ command? Spend time in prayer for Christians in the NRV, our country, and around the world.
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