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The apostle John wrote

jn 13 35
14 March 2024

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.

But what did that love look like? I have been thinking on this as I have been preparing for the upcoming Maundy Thursday service and fellowship meal.  Maundy comes from the Latin word mandatum from which we get the English word mandate. It can also be translated as command or commandment. Maundy Thursday then is when we remember the night on which Jesus said to the disciples:

“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.”

On the night he was betrayed Jesus broke bread with the disciples and took up a cup giving us a sacrament to remember him by, the Lord’s Supper.  But before that, he took off his outer garments, wrapped a towel around his waist, and humbling himself, taking the posture of a servant, he washed Peter’s feet.

Love, as Jesus showed us then, meant coming in humility to serve. Putting others first and tending to their needs. Getting dirty in the process. Not too many hours later, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the very humiliation and pain of the cross.

And I wonder if people observing our interactions with each other would know that we were his disciples.


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Christchurch, New Zealand

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