Maundy Thursday, April 1
Contributed by Astrid Melatunen
John 13: 1-17, 31b-35
"I give you a new commandment, ..."
What does the "new commandment" mean here? Jesus clearly did not
undermine the Old Testament commandment to love others as oneself (Lev.
19:18). God's commands remain eternal in value (cf. Mt 5: 17-19). Jesus only
made clear the true meaning of the commandment to love others.
The qualification of love in this new commandment is: "as Jesus loved the
disciples" (13:34). Loving as Jesus did means showing faithfulness (13: 1
"now He loves them to the end"). This love also involves a humble attitude to
serve others (13: 3-4). This love is also ready to accept the failures of others
(13: 36-38). Above all, loving like Jesus means being willing to sacrifice for
others (15: 12-13).
Our ability to love others is greatly influenced by our experience of Christ's
love. If we understand how great Christ's love for us is, we will be able to
share that great love with others.
To understand the greatness of love, we need to realize how sinful we are.
The person who best understands their very serious sin before a holy God is
the one who best understands how much love covers their sin. By sharing
Christ's love with others, we are showing who our Great Teacher and Lord is
to a waiting, watching world.
If love is the special sign (John 13:35) and the greatest thing in Christianity
(Matt. 5: 23-24; 1Co 13), Christians must learn to put love above all else. Do
not let us sacrifice love for things that are not important. Whatever happens,
love should take priority over other activities in the ministry or certain spiritual
Dear Lord God, help us to always realize Your Great Love and share it with
one another, Amen.
Astrid Melatunen is originally from Indonesia and is a student at Vancouver School of
Theology and a much appreciated member of the St. Andrew’s Hall Community.
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