Updated: Apr 28, 2022
What Jesus is about to model for us is unbelievable.
Today is Maundy Thursday - April 14, 2022.
It is no ordinary day.
It is a sacred day, a special day, a Holy Day.
Jesus is about to demonstrate an amazing act of love. Much has been unfolding - crescendoing if you will - to this very day. Six days earlier, Mary anointed Jesus for His upcoming burial ( John 12). After an unbelievable entry into Jerusalem, with Jesus riding on a donkey, palm branches being waived, and the crowd crying out Hosanna, we now find Jesus in an upper room with his disciples.
Inside these passages, we find four ways Jesus built real relationships.
Maundy is derived from the Latin word for "command" and refers to Jesus' commandment to his disciples to "Love one another as I have loved you” ( John 13:34). On this sacred Thursday, 2000 years ago, Jesus is about to show his disciples the full extent of his love.
Jesus was fully committed. John 13:1 says “Having loved his own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.” Being full committed is at the core of building real relationships. No “wishy-washy” commitment that comes and goes. No “running and quitting” on one another as soon as it gets hard. Hardship, adversity, and disappointments should drive you closer together not further apart. This only happens if you are fully committed to loving one another all the way to the end.
Jesus confirmed His commitment by His actions. John 13: 4-5 describes how Jesus got up from the meal, took off His outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around His waist. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash His disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around Him. Can you see in these few verses, the intentionality of Jesus and the kind of relationships He was building? Remember, in a few days, He would no longer be there. We can’t help but see that what He was providing them was more than the actual act of washing their feet.
He was actually providing them with a greater gift: the depth of His love.
They would need this gift in the days ahead. And this is what love in action does. It gives the gift of love that real relationships draw from on days when everything seems to be turned upside down and inside out. Jesus modeled what we have all heard and probably said: “actions speak louder than words!” If you want to build real relationships, your actions must lead the way.
Jesus’ humility was His method. If we could describe an overarching description of Jesus it would be how He is the epitome of a radical loss of self. Philippians 2:6-8 describes Jesus in this way: “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage; rather, He made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross.”
In John 13:13-17 Jesus said “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.” If you want to build real relationships, you are going to have to crucify your pride and embrace Christ-like humility. After all, God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. (Prov. 3:34)
Jesus understood the future impact of His life on others. John 13:15 says “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” People who build real relationships understand the impact they have on others. They don’t live their lives for themselves, but rather consider the long-lasting and far-reaching relational impact they have on others. We often asked couples to pause and answer these questions:
What kind of relationship are you inviting others into?
What kind of impact are you having on the relationships closest to you?
Would you want to be in a relationship with you?
These are great questions that we must all consider. We certainly believe Jesus cared about the kind of relationship He invited others into and the impact He had because ultimately, He wants a real relationship with everyone.
If you want to build real relationships, follow Christ's example of commitment, action, humility, and impact because John 13:17 is a promise worth holding on to.
“Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”
Dale and Jena Forehand are the founders of Stained Glass Ministries a non-profit 501 C 3 ministry. They offer conferences and resources to build real relationships. To find out more about their amazing grace story of marriage, divorce, and re-marriage to one another visit their website www.daleandjena.com. You can also find them on Facebook and Instagram as @daleandjena