Maundy Thursday (Apr 13th)

Pastor's Summary of John 13:1-17, 31b-35

Jesus is preparing his followers for his departure; the "end" of his earthly life is near. A servant usually washed the feet of guests before a meal, but here it is Jesus who does so and he does it "during supper" (v. 2). Peter is surprised (v. 6). Jesus tells him that his action doesn't make sense now, but it will "later" (v. 7), i.e. in vv. 12-17. Peter remonstrates: but that's the chore of a lowly servant! (v. 8a). Jesus answers: only if I wash your feet can you "share" with me in the Kingdom (v. 8b). Peter, now getting part of the point, insists: may I share completely in Christ! (v. 9). In v. 10a, Jesus states a truism: if you hve just had a bath, you need to wash only your hands and feet. Perhaps Jesus means "clean" in the sense of pure in v. 10b. In v. 11, John seems to be writing of Judas.

Jesus now explains. As he, "Lord and Teacher" (v. 14), has been a servant to them, so each one of the disciples is to be a servant to every other; they are to follow his "example" (v. 15). In vv. 18-30, Jesus predicts his betrayal, says that the traitor is one of them, and tells the disciples "whom Jesus loved" who it is. Judas "immediately went out" (v. 30). In v. 31, perhaps God is "glorified" by the revelation in Jesus ("the Son of Man") of God's servanthood and humility, and/or it is that Jesus is now inevitably on the path to the cross. Jesus is a way of seeing God now ("at once". v.32). While his disciples (lovingly called "little children", v. 33 cannot "come" to heaven now, in 14:3 he promises to "come again and....take you to myself". He gives them "a new commandment" (v. 34): while Judaism required one to love one's neighbor as oneself, Jesus is his follower's example of love. This mutual love will show who are his followers (v. 35).

NOTE: Two special events are planned: The Foot Washing and Participation in the Last Supper by all in attendance.