Today’s Reading: Mark 14:12-26
Today is Maundy Thursday. Taken from the Latin word Mandatum meaning “command” or “mandate.” In John’s account of the day Jesus gives his disciples a new command on the night before his death.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34
I’ve read these verses many times but recently saw them through a different lens. Here we see Jesus at the Passover, sharing a meal in an upper room with His disciples. When we read another account of the same story in the book of John we see Jesus give the new command to His disciples.
On this night the disciples have had a meal with Jesus. (Matthew 26:26) Jesus has shown the full extent of His love for them. (John 13:1) As an act of service, Jesus has washed the feet of His disciples. (John 13:5) The disciples have prayed with Jesus (Matthew 26: 26) and sang worship songs with Him. (Matthew 26:30)
There is no doubt in my mind that the relationship between Jesus and His disciples runs deep. His love for them is on full display throughout the pages of scripture. But we must not forget that Judas (the one who betrays Jesus) is counted among the group. Jesus loves Judas deeply. Jesus serves Judas with humility. Jesus calls Judas “friend” in Matthew 26:50 and Jesus ultimately lays down His life for those He loves.
Christ knew all along that Judas would betray Him. He knew that Judas would hand Him over to the chief priests for a measly thirty coins. He knew that Judas would eventually become his enemy and yet He loved Him. This is the kind of love I can’t wrap my mind around yet it is also the kind of love Christ calls us to.
Who are you in conflict with right now? Who is making your life hard? Who in your life has done you wrong? Who has hurt you? May God grant us the grace to love our enemies well just as Christ displayed His love for those that would hurt Him.