"A New Command" Thursday [Also Known As Maundy Thursday]
Just a few days ago we joined the crowds and watched Jesus move towards the city in humility, with focus and deep desire [Matthew 21:1-11 & Palm Sunday].
Today we join Jesus and the disciples at the table of the Last Supper, and witness Jesus washing the feet of his students, followers and friends [John 13].
Nathan Hamm summarizes this event with the following:
"Jesus washed the dirty feet of
Judas, who betrayed him,
Peter, who denied him,
and the disciples, who
That's what God is like."
That is exactly what God is like.
And that same God, Jesus, asks us to receive his sacrificial love, and in turn to be like him, to follow him in his servant oriented, welcoming of all, treating enemies like friends way of love.
And that's exactly what this day is about. Often, and more traditionally, referred to as Maundy Thursday, this is the day that the people of God remember this foot washing moment, and these words of Jesus which he uttered shortly after:
"So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
So may we join in, embed ourselves in this story, and follow Jesus' mandate [That's what the word maundy means], or command to love as he has loved, to serve one another as he has served us.
Questions to consider:
Jesus washed his followers feet, which was an immediate need of theirs, and something that a person of lower status would have often performed.
What practical ways has, and does, Jesus meet my needs and serve me [Make a list]?
Do I recognize the scandal, the absurdity of him taking on the role of a servant as it relates to me and to us? What response does that produce within me? How might express that response to Jesus?
How might Jesus' action and instruction in all of this shape how I view and act towards those I live with, those I'm planted among? What one thing do I feel compelled to do now as a way of emulating Jesus' servanthood and love, as a way of obeying his mandate, his command?