Today is Maundy Thursday of Holy Week, the day churches around the world remember the Last Supper of Jesus.
The name Maundy Thursday is derived from the Latin word mandatum, meaning to command or mandate, and recalls the words of Jesus to his disciples after washing their feet:
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35)
It is just like Jesus to have His thoughts before His death be on love. Jesus did not give us a “new suggestion.” He commanded love! Therefore, love is more than a feeling, but an act of the will.
We see this love in action in Jesus washing His disciples feet. He is washing… FEET! Walking anywhere in 1st century Israel was a dirty job. The roads were typical unpaved and filled with dirt, mud, and animal manure. That’s why foot washing was a necessary practice.
Whenever a guest arrived at someone’s house, the lowest servant was tasked with washing their feet. This was one of the dirtiest jobs around. Yet, Jesus took up the basin and the towel and went straight for the filth and dirt. He still does. He knows your dirt and wipes away the guilt and shame associated with it.
I am struck by one more thing from that Thursday evening 2,000 years ago. The very hands that would soon be pierced through with nails are stooping to serve, washing even the feet of one of His enemies. He washed Judas’ feet before Jesus would let Judas go to betray Him (John 13.27).
Judas does go on to betray Jesus, but he did so with clean feet and having experienced Jesus’ love.
Friends, Jesus spoke of there being two kinds of people in our world: neighbors and enemies. Jesus said to love them both (Mark 12:31; Matthew 5:43-44)! We respond to His love with love for one another. Love is what the world needs, and our demonstrations of love show that we belong to Jesus. We are so loved by Him! May our love never, ever grow cold for Him and each other!
Written by Rev. Randy Duncan, CUAA Campus Pastor
Learn more about Concordia University Ann Arbor’s 2020-21 academic year theme, Unchanging.
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