The Master Becomes a Servant

Painting by 'Waiting for the Word'
Maundy Thursday — a call to love and serve one another like Jesus (image by: Waiting for the Word)

What is Maundy Thursday? The word comes from the Latin ‘Mandatum’ — which means Mandate or Commandment. It refers to the command Jesus gave to His disciples at the Last Supper (John 13:34,35).

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Jesus’ mandate to us is simple: love and serve one another. He modeled it by washing His disciples’ feet — the Master becoming the slave. A humble yet profound act that foreshadows what would come next, when He would give His life for them.

For the disciples, Jesus did the unthinkable act. Only slaves would bow down, roll up their sleeves and wash their dirty, sand-soiled feet. It was a revolutionary act that took them completely by surprise. No wonder, at first, Peter refused to let Jesus wash his feet.

Here’s a God who did not just say it, he showed it. (Romans 5:8) His humility and majesty are unmatched. I am once again captured by this clear demonstration of love by my Master. He humbled himself to wash my feet… I have been commanded to do likewise.

‘Who’s dirty feet is God asking me to wash today?’

‘What do I need to give up for the sake of another?’

Oh, I how I need to die to my self-will, my self-importance, my need to feel validated. I pray this hymn echoes the prayer of your heart, as it does mine.

“Lord take my life and make it wholly Thine
Fill my poor heart with Thy great love divine
Tale all my will, my passion, self and pride
I now surrender, Lord, in me abide”

(3rd stanza from Hymn ‘Search Me O God’)

Listen to a fresh arrangement of this hymn here.

(This article was originally published here on 28 March 2018, and is used by permission