Maundy Thursday is a Christian holiday celebrated on the Thursday before Easter. It commemorates the washing of the disciples feet by Jesus. The word Maundy traces back to the Latin word mandatum (see mandate in there?), which means command. In John's account of how the last few days of Jesus' life go, the disciples gather for a final meal with Jesus, and at this meal Jesus washes their feet.
After washing their feet, the meal begins. At some point in the dinner, Jesus identifies Judas as the disciple who will betray him. After Judas leaves the group, Jesus tries to prepare the disciples for what is coming next. "I will only be with you a little longer," Jesus says. Then, as a final command, he says: “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.” This command is where the phrase for Maundy comes from. It is Jesus parting command...If you remember anything I've told you, REMEMBER THIS!
To love has become such an obvious sentiment. Love trends as a hashtag and is plastered across t-shirts and bumpers. Perhaps some credit for that ought to go to the man who commanded it so emphatically. Maundy Thursday is a day to remember exactly what it means to love "as I have loved you."
Jesus Washes His Disciples Feet | John 13:1-17
It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
“Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”
Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.”
For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean. When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.