Jesus washing the disciples' feet, detail of mural by David Paynter

Exodus 12:1-4, (5-10), 11-14 • Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19 • 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 • John 13:1-17, 31b-35

"I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:34-35

This comes after Jesus has washed the feet of the disciples and in so doing, humiliating himself.

We so often think of the washing of feet as symbolic of serving, but it really is symbolic of humiliation. This is why Peter at first said, “No!” He did not want his friend to humiliate himself this way. But, then as the understanding that the only way of sharing in the life of Jesus was to enter into the humiliation of Christ, he wanted all of him to be washed.

Then Jesus closes the scene with this call to love.

How would the disciples be known? They would be known by love.

What kind of love? A self-sacrificial humiliating kind of love. A love that holds nothing back. It is a love that the world would look at with confusion.

Too many times in my life I’ve thought that to be known as Jesus' disciple I need to have airtight logic or to be shouting about a particular political agenda. Too often, I have thought that having a proper theological or doctrinal stance was key.

Too little have I lived out the command to love. Too little have I lived out the model of self-humiliation for another. Too little have I lived as one who would be known as Jesus'.

As I ponder this reality, this Maundy Thursday, I am left with the keen awareness that grace abounds and that I have a long way to go.