Today is Maundy Thursday. It is the Thursday before Easter. The word “maundy” is an old word with two meanings (both of which are not in use anymore). The first meaning is “commandment,” and the second, not as closely related to the reason it is used during Holy Week, is “to beg.” Both of these are interesting when we consider them in the context of Easter and Jesus crucifixion and resurrection.
The Last Supper occurred on Thursday night. It was during the evening meal that Jesus gave to the disciples one of his final instructions. Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another” (John 13:34, ESV). This commandment was given as Jesus was modeling for the disciples the kinds of acts of service they were to perform for one another. Jesus had undressed and wrapped himself with a towel. He then proceeded to wash the disciples’ feet. This simple act has profound implications for us today. What is our attitude when asked to serve? Are we more interested in being served? How difficult is it for us to humble ourselves and do what we do not think we should have to do?
The reality and power of Jesus’ service to us is compounded by the fact that he offered his service before we asked for his help. While we will beg for God’s forgiveness, God has already extended his grace and forgiveness. We come on our knees and God meets us with the ring, shoes, robe and feast of son-ship (Luke 15:11-32). There is no greater demonstration of God’s love toward us than Jesus washing of the disciples’ feet. The one in whom all things “have there being” stooped to wash the dirty feet of twelve dubious disciples.