I’m reposting this from last year… Blessings!
Maundy Thursday is the Thursday of Holy Week (the Thursday before Easter). It was the day on which Jesus celebrated the Passover with his disciples, sharing a meal with them which we call the Last Supper.
In those days it was usual for a servant to wash the guests feet on arrival. On this occasion there was no servant present and none of the disciples volunteered to do the menial task. Instead, Jesus got up and washed his disciples feet, giving them an object lesson in humility and service.
In some churches priests carry out a ceremonial washing of the feet of twelve men on Maundy Thursday as a commemoration of Christ’s act.
In Britain it is still customary for the sovereign to give ‘Maundy Money’ to a number of male and female pensioners – one man and one woman for each year of the sovereign’s age. The money is contained in two purses: one red and one white. The white purse contains specially minted coins – one for each year of the sovereign’s life. The red purse now also contains money, in lieu of gifts which used to be offered to the poor. Up to the time of James II the sovereign also washed the feet of selected poor men.
The word “Maundy” comes from the Latin for ‘command’ (mandatum). It refers to the command given by Jesus at the Last Supper, that his disciples should love one another.
Thanks to Jeff Osborne for supplying the picture below which shows a bowl with two platforms. The guest would be able to stand on these and have water poured over the feet into the bowl
Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet ~ John 13: 1-17 (ESV)
13:1 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2 During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, 4 rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. 5 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” 7 Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” 8 Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” 9 Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” 10 Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
12 When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.
What Jesus did here to teach his disciples is very important for us to consider. He showed the “full extent of his love” by washing their feet and instructed them to follow his example and wash each others feet. We can’t miss the fact that serving one another is a very important truth that Jesus wants us to understand and follow. We need to put others needs above our own. Who does God want me to serve? Who am I suppose to wrap the towel around my waist for? Who am I suppose to lay down my rights and privileges for? Who am I to show the full extent of my love to? Who am I suppose to humble myself for? I pray that I will go deep in understanding this amazing thing that God wants me to follow Him in and that you will, too. Let us consider together what our Savior, Master, King did and try to do the same.