Today is Maundy Thursday, the fifth day of Holy Week, the day before Jesus was crucified on the cross, and 3 days before he rose up from death into eternal life. But I did not know until this morning what “maundy” meant, or the implications and challenges of that word.
I was listening to Kris Langham on Through the Word app, and Pastor Kris said that “maundy” meant mandate. So I researched it. Here is what I found:
“Maundy is derived from the Latin word for “command,” and refers to Jesus’ commandment to the disciples to “Love one another as I have loved you.” AL.com
In his study for Holy Week and specifically Thursday, Pastor Kris explains this ‘mandate,’ Jesus says, “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.” (John 13:34 NLT ) A new command? Hasn’t Jesus previously us to love each other? Yes, but in that instance, he was quoting the scriptures, specifically Leviticus 19:18: “You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.” And of course, this teaching of Jesus’ led to the illustration of just who our neighbor is, through the parable of the Good Samaritan.
But here, Jesus departs from Leviticus, and makes it new: love as I have loved you! Radically different! How? Well, did Jesus, the Son of God, in possession of all the power, might and glory of God, not just strip his cloak off and wash the dirty, stinky feet of 12 men? If Jesus – the creator of the universe – can be so humble as o do such a menial task, have can we not pay attention and do likewise?! He does indeed go on to tell us to do so.
There are no trivial, menial tasks in the Kingdom when done to show the love of Jesus for everyone around us. But the challenge remains for you, for me, in the doing of this, in being obedient to this new commandment of Jesus! And how we all struggle with this!
Well, they like this president, so I can be mean to them. They believe this is a good policy, so I can call them names. They think that is acceptable,so I can gossip about them. But, can I? No, not if I want to truly follow Jesus, because when I don’t treat others well, don’t respond kindly, then I am disobeying Jesus’ commandment! I am not showing the world who Jesus is! But praise God that He is merciful, and forgiving. Every time we catch ourselves NOT loving as Jesus does, we can stop, say we are sorry (and yes, if necessary, to the person we wronged!), and ask God to forgive us for our behavior and attitude.
So my prayer for you, for me today is that God would put a rein of our tongue AND our fingers on the keyboard, and keep us from the sin of not loving. I pray that as we seek to follow Jesus that it will become easier and more part of our nature to respond in the love of Christ to every one!