About this event:
What happened the day of the Last Supper? I wonder what that mood was like. Was Jesus feeling the pressure of what was about to happen when He woke up that morning? It was Thursday. The disciples were participating in what they thought was just a normal Passover Meal. Maybe some of them had experienced a Passover meal with Jesus before but this time it was to be a secret gathering since Jesus was already being sought for arrest. Jesus told Peter and John to go into the city and find a man carrying a jar of water. A man carrying a jar of water would have been easy to spot since that job was usually reserved for women. By this point, Peter and John had learned not to question but to simply obey. It is curious to know if the water the man had been carrying would later that night be used to wash their very feet. This Peter would question later. When Jesus knelt before him with a towel and basin of water, Peter could not understand. But because Jesus explained it was they only way to belong to Him, Peter asked for a full submersion! I wonder what the disciples would have done if they had already known what Judas was up to. And how much more confused when they saw Jesus washing Judas’ feet. Was Judas able to feel remorse yet?
This day is known as Maundy Thursday, or Holy Thursday. 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.” This Commandment was given after Jesus used the bread and wine on the table to try to explain what was about to happen and why. They would only understand later. His love for them went as far as to lay His life down for them. And His command was for them to be willing to do the same for each other.
Jesus then prayed this beautiful Prayer over them.
, “John 17:5-26 English Standard Version (ESV) 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed. 6 “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7 Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. 8 For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have
received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. 9 I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. 13 But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.[a] 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them[b] in the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sake I consecrate myself,[c] that they also may be sanctified[d] in truth. 20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. 24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. 26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”
a. John 17:15 Or from evil
b. John 17:17 Greek Set them apart (for holy service to God)
c. John 17:19 Or I sanctify myself ; or I set myself apart (for holy service to God) d. John 17:19 Greek may be set apart (for holy service to God)
So who did Jesus love? He loved Judas who was unclean and who would betray Him for money, and Peter who would pretend to not know Him. He loved the lepers He healed who didn’t thank Him, and also the Leper who disobeyed Jesus and broke their confidentiality. He loved the broken with grief, Martha. He loved the ones who would shout, “crucify him!” He loved the children, the sick, the homeless, the sinners, and the ones who pretended not to be sinners. I wonder if while praying in the Garden later that night, Jesus felt the guilt of every person from Adam and Eve to Peter and Judas, and every person to come after. I wonder if He wept for us the way He wept for Mary and Martha at Lazarus’ grave.
Oh, He loves us. How He loves us all.
Who should we love? We should love the brother who betrayed us for money. And: The friend in high school who pretended not to know us. The cousin we rescued from jail who didn’t say thank you. The coworker, who broke our confidentiality. The weak, the unbelievers, the homeless, the addicts. The mentally ill and the liars. The thief. The ones who believe they have never done anything wrong. Every single person who never loved us back. The tactless. The ones who use us. All of the children, in every corner of the world. Our family. Our brothers and sisters in Christ. Those who came before. Those still to come. Everyone. We are to love everyone.
Give them understanding. Pray to God for them. Give them hope. Be their friend. Forgive them. Forgive them for what they know they have done wrong.
Forgive them for what they do not know they have done wrong . Forgive them for not being perfect.
I cannot think of a better time to forgive than right now. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” I believe He also included us in that incredible plea as He surrendered His Life, and defeated our death.
So I will love, because He first loved me