Today is known as “Maundy Thursday,” or “Holy Thursday,” or “Great Thursday.” The word Maundy is derived from the Latin word mandatum, meaning “commandment,” and refers to the commands Jesus gave his disciples at the Last Supper: to love with humility by serving one another and to remember his sacrifice.
On this Maundy Thursday, Jesus shared the last supper with His disciples, and before they ate, He washed their feet… one of the lowliest tasks the lowliest of servants were assigned to do. Yet the Bible tells us that The Master, Teacher, Creator of this World took off His robes, and put on a servants towel and did what by rights should have been done to Him. He washed the terribly dirty and rough feet of His disciples, even the feet of the one who had already betrayed Him.
As John 13:1 tells us, “He had loved those who were His own in the world, He loved them to the last and to the highest degree.”
Jesus did this lowly act of service to teach His disciples and us the principle of true love and what it means to be truly great…
From John 13:3, we learn that Jesus COULD do this lowly act of service because of His assurance of three things:
1. knowing fully aware that the Father had put everything into His hands,
2. and that He had come from God
3. and was now returning to God.
And we, too, are assured of these same three things, which should free us up to genuinely love and serve others:
1. We know full well that the Father has us and our lives and positions in His hands
2. We know that we belong to God and what HE says and thinks about us is far more important than anything else in this world
3. We know that we will be returning to God, because this earthly life is just a breath compared to eternity with Him in Heaven
Therefore, we should follow Jesus’ example and take off our “robes” of position and take up the servant’s towel and wash the feet of others.
That’s the command that this Maundy Thursday focuses upon. That, and the Truth that Jesus even loved His betrayer… and aren’t we so grateful?
As we read what Jesus said and did on this Holy Thursday, may the Lord speak a fresh Word to us about how His acts of love and service are to be emulated by us… His grateful, but betraying, yet forgiven and redeemed followers.
Jesus is Anointed: Matthew 26:6-13
The Lord’s Supper: Matthew 26:17-30; Mark 14:12-25; Luke 22:7-20; John 13:1-38
Jesus Comforts His Disciples: John 14
Jesus Teaches about The Vine and Branches: John 15
Jesus Speaks of the Future: John 16
Jesus’ Prayer for Himself, His Disciples, and All Believers: John 17
Gethsemane: Matthew 26:36-46; Mark 14:32-42; Luke 22:40-46
Arrest and Trial: Matthew 26:47-27:31; Mark 14:43-15:20; Luke 22:47-23:25; John 18:1-19:16
Healing of Malchus’ Ear: Luke 22:50-51; John 18:3-11