‘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)
by Ryan M. Reeves
The disciples were always prone to think highly of themselves. They are not heroes in a way we see in heroic tales or fiction. In fact, they often seem to bumble along behind Jesus, never fully grasping the truth in front of them until after the Resurrection. They bickered over who was first, counseled Jesus not to die on the cross, and they were slow to believe the meaning of some of his teachings.
Maundy Thursday, or Holy Thursday, is the day we commemorate Jesus washing the feet of his disciples—and doing so on the night he would be handed over to death. Jesus tells them that they are to love one another as he loves them. According to Luke it was during this time that the disciples again disputed over who was greatest in the group. But when the disciples argued about their power that is when they hear water pouring and see the King wrapped in a towel to wash their feet.
It is the same for us. Those who feel strong forget how much we need Christ to wash away our sins; those who know they are weak look to Jesus and find not only strength but comfort. Maundy Thursday, then, opens up an essential truth for Christians during Easter. Every time we feel inclined to pride or self-righteousness, remember that Christ shed his blood for us, not merely as a demonstration of love, but as the only means to finally wash away the guilt of sin.