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Thursday, March 29, 2018

Inspired by . . . Holy Week: Thursday

Maundy Thursday, as it is called. Maundy being from the Latin mandatum which means "commandment" and so named because of the new commandment Jesus gave to His disciples the night of His arrest.
31 So, when he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in Him. 32 If God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and glorify Him immediately. 33 Little children, I shall be with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come,’ so now I say to you. 34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:31-35 NKJV)
Before this, John describes for us a peculiar scene:
2 And supper being ended, the devil having 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 to God, 4 rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. 5 After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. (John 13:2-5 NKJV)
It's a story some of us know well and as the verses unfold we are next told of Jesus', slightly humorous, discourse with Peter. This can distract from one truth that has always impressed itself hard upon my heart.

Jesus washed the disciples' feet.

ALL of the disciples.

What did our Lord feel when He touched the feet of His betrayer? The grief and disappointment must have been great. Yet Jesus loved him still.

What did Judas feel when Jesus knelt at his feet? We don't know for sure, however, since verse two tells us that he had already decided to betray Jesus it is likely that all he felt was scorn. He really did not want to accept this "gift" from Jesus. At this point, he had nothing but contempt for this do-gooder Who had set Himself up as God's Son.

Do these words cause you to shake your head? Unable to understand how Judas could have acted as he did, having known Jesus in the flesh. Or does your heart burn within you because his actions shed light on the truth of your own sin against God?

We have all failed Him.

Some of us are strong and determined to do things on our own. We may believe in Him but we don't need His help.

Some of us say we are unworthy of the gift He so freely gives. So we will not accept it.

Both responses are rooted in sinful pride.

Yet, just as He loved Judas in his sin, He loves us in our pride.

Some of us find it very hard to reconcile this kind of love. The kind of love that loves an enemy. We feel it is wrong somehow. That justice is not served.

But justice is served through this kind of love.

Because of the cross.

God's love, His mercy, His grace, HE is greater than any other force in all of creation.

Judas wasn't present when Jesus commanded His disciples to love one another as He had loved them. But we have received this command and are without excuse.

When we obey, when we love others as He has loved us, we become a conduit for the greatest power in all of the universe.

Take this truth with you into the darkness of the next two days.

Because Sunday is coming.


Sharing inspiration here:
#TellHisStoryFaith On Fire, Grace & Truth,
Inspire Me Monday, #HeartEncouragement,
Thoughtful Thursdays#w2wwordfilledwednesday,
Sitting Among Friends, #Glimpsesofhisbeauty
Counting My Blessings, Grace Moments,
#DanceWithJesus; Imparting Grace

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If you read something here that inspired you, I’d love to hear about it. Please know I appreciate every comment! Thanks so much for stopping by! Blessings, June