Maundy Thursday – A New Command

“Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.” John 13:34, 35 The Message

Maundy Thursday, or Holy Thursday, is the day before Christ’s crucifixion. It is the day of the Last Supper when Jesus washes his disciples feet and gives them the first communion. He reveals his betrayer that Thursday night, though the others don’t seem to notice.

the-last-supper-johnny-myers
The Last Supper by Johnny Myers

No one, not even the very vocal Peter, told Judas to get lost. Clearly they didn’t understand Jesus’ meaning when he said the one I give the bread I dip in the bowl will betray me. I mean He dips and then gives the bread to Judas. They didn’t know, but Judas did. And he left.

Jesus gives the 11 remaining disciples a new commandment (maundy means command) to love each other as He loved them. In this command, Jesus raised the standard on loving. Mosaic law commanded us to love others as we love ourselves. It made the giant assumption that we do indeed love ourselves. Jesus, flipping the script as he so often did, commanded us to love as he did – even unto death. 

The disciples couldn’t have understood the full meaning of this new command either. At least not until the following day. But on Maundy Thursday, kicked back with clean feet, eating and drinking with their friends, hearing Jesus teach – they were remarkably unaware of the gravity of all that was happening. How could they truly have known their worlds would be shattered in just a few short hours. What a difference a day makes!

On Good Friday they witnessed his death that Jesus spoke of the day before. And even then, I can’t imagine they knew the full meaning. That his death paved the way to eternal life for them and all of us who believe on him. It would be a few days before they really grasped his meaning.

Maybe after he was resurrected and they saw Him again. Perhaps then they got what Jesus meant. Greater love has no man than this than to lay down his life for a friend. This is the love he calls us to. People should know us as Christians because of how we show love for EVERYONE!

We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord, We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord. And I pray that all unity may one day be restored. All praise to the Father from whom all things come. And all praise to Christ Jesus His only son. And all praise to the Spirit who makes us one. And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love. Yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love. Lyrics by Peter Scholtes

Jesus’ betrayal was sealed with a kiss – a sign of friendship, respect and love. Was that kiss symbolic of the lip service some of us give to Christ’s new command to love each other? Do we truly comprehend the love Jesus has for us? The love we are to have for one another? Really? Selah... Andrea

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Your Turn:  Do people know you are Christian by your love? Are there people you need to show the kind of love Christ commanded? Tell us about your love walk in the comments. – Breath on Paper

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