A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. –John 13:34, 35.
“Maundy” refers to the Latin text of verse 34, mandatum, from which we get the word mandate—an authoritative command.
In the Liturgy, it refers to the foot washing ceremony, the example which Jesus set for us before the new command.
The Gospel of John, which does not mention the institution of the Lord’s Supper, repeats this new mandatum three times! Peter refers to it three times in his First Epistle; First John references it five times, it being one of the tests he gives to discern true Christians. Paul refers directly to ‘love one another’ in four of his letters.
An amazing feature of our American culture stares us in the face—many Christians do not even know that in the New Testament, (link)“one another” refers exclusively to our fellow believers.
In John, Holy Week begins with the anointing of Jesus’ feet by Mary along with her wiping them with her hair. And Jesus’ last physical act, before the events of the arrest and trial, consists of his washing his disciples’ feet.
Then follows the new commandment.
“The new thing appears to be the mutual affection that Christians have for one another on account of Christ’s great love for them.”–Leon Morris, NICNT
“The standard of love which the disciples are to have for one another is that which their Lord has lavished on them.”–F. F. Bruce, John
In the early church, Tertullian remarked that pagans noted, “See how they love one another.”
Tennyson penned these lines:
Love your enemies, bless your haters, said the
greatest of the great;
Christian love among the churches, look’d the
twin of heathen hate.
Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,…
For More on Christian Confusion, see: Love, Prayer, and Forgiveness: When Basics Become Heresies (linked)
“…an excellent piece…one that many Christians need to hear”–R.C. Sproul
[Anniversary–This blog began during Holy Week, seven years ago]