I always wondered why they would call it “maundy Thursday”; thinking they were saying “Monday Thursday”.
The term comes form the Latin mandatum meaning commandment. Thus coming from the saying from Jesus “I give you a new command.”
In John 13:34, Jesus gave His disciples this just after the Last Supper. But notice in verse 31, Judas was not present. Some scholars have noted that this mandatum was highlighting the foot washing event that took place before the “supper.” Furthermore, Jesus wasn’t giving a “new” command but rather emphasizing His teaching of “Love one another.” Which was at the heart of all of His teaching. Also notice the sequence of the events in John 13;
- Washing of feet- verses 1-17. The example to ALL
- Jesus explaining the meaning to SOME verses 18-20.
- Jesus predicts His betrayal. verses 21-30
- Judas departs. v 30.
- Jesus gives the New Command or mandatum.
The New Command is for believers. We are to LOVE one another by “serving” in front of ALL. So that ALL may know whom we really serve- Jesus!