Maundy Thursday

Updated: Jan 28

Holy Week is a creation of the Roman Catholic Church. In order to not be Jewish, Christians need their own special week, which cannot be called Passover. Forget about Jesus being a Jew and forget about the first Christians being Jews.  Forget about how the first Gentile converts to Christianity adopted the Passover, because the rituals of Holy Week were commanded by some pope, not God. Regardless of the truth that Jesus washed the feet of his disciples, and it is truth, the Church has adopted Thursday as this day of recognition. Despite the fact that the day of preparation (i.e.: Friday) was when Jesus sent his disciples to prepare the upper room for the Seder meal, we recognize Thursday as when he washed feet. Despite the fact that the Passover festival then was eight days long, beginning at 6:00 PM Friday (technically a Sabbath) and lasted until 6:00 PM the next Sabbath (technically a Sunday), we act like Jesus washed feet on Thursday, was dead on a cross by noon Friday, and entombed later the same Friday. Despite the fact that Jews celebrate TWO Seder meals, beginning at 6:00 PM on 14 Nisan (technically 15 Nisan) and again beginning at 6:00 PM on 15 Nisan (technically 16 Nisan), we see Jesus washing feet at the only Seder meal he attended, forgetting all about his Seder meal at the home of Simon the Leper. Despite all that truth of the reality of Jesus’ life, Christians see Thursday as the holy day that we remember foot washing.


If only someone would explain: “Well it is not actually about the day of the week.  It is about the washing of Christians in the love of Jesus Christ.”  (Or, something … anything.) Listening to a priest (one I like) talk about Maundy Thursday, I heard him make similar commentary, which sounded thoughtful and educated.  For the most part, I agreed with all the good things that priest said; but not the washing of Christians in the blood of Christ.  That is too difficult to grasp, for us who need something more concrete for our faith to be strengthened.  Concrete like a perfect cornerstone of explanation being set in place. 


Then, it dawned on me how Jesus spoke to his disciples like they were college students at a pizzeria on the evening before final exams. Don’t laugh or pooh-pooh that idea.  Hear me out.


When he washed their feet he was telling them that even though he was their professor, he too was a student like them. The key to passing a final exam is NOT about seeing who could get the highest grade in the course.  It was not about the glee of seeing one’s name at the top of the grades list posted outside the classroom’s door, after all the final scores have been tabulated and the official grades turned in to the administration.  Getting the highest grade makes one feel superior to the other students.  Jesus did not want them being that way.


Jesus told them, “Do not see this education as a me versus them contest.  Instead, see it as a we experience.” Jesus said, “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. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”


That means if anyone failed … if anyone did not get an A++ … then the one who finished first is the reason for that failure. Anyone taking glee in others being below him [or her] is actually the failure.  It means whoever barely passed the exams or those who only passed with a B are all a reflection of the refusal of the one who knew the most to share that knowledge with the others. The first is a reflection of the least, because he [or she] selfishly learned and secretly wished others would fail.


Jesus said that with Judas Iscariot present, which means Judas was probably a straight A student, but he never helped anyone but himself.

Maundy Thursday - Wikipedia

Who dat aint got no halo?


Still, Jesus washed the feet of Judas along with all the others present at that second Seder meal, because Judas was the one who needed to help the others the most.  Judas needed to wash the slower-of-brain disciples, as well as be washed by them.  Washing feet meant seeing how everyone was equally in that educational program together: teacher and God; teacher and students; A students and D students; students and God. Peter argued.  Judas said nothing.  Peter came from a different perspective, as he was a C student.  His commitment was equal to that of the others; but Simon-Peter felt the weight of the whole educational system on his shoulders.  His knees constantly were buckling under the weight of listening to the teacher’s lectures and then trying to make sure the others heard everything he had heard. Peter (ole Rocky) did not want the teacher helping him, because he believed it was up to him and only him to make the grade.  Peter was then like Judas in that respect, but he was the exact opposite of Judas in how he not only tried to learn what Jesus taught, but he also do things to help others deal with their shortcomings.  Judas helped no one because he needed no help.  Peter helped those who struggled, while shunning the ones who he saw as Jesus’ favorites … the smarter students.


That class of Jesus’ was like any and all college classes, because it was a collection of cliques.  His students were pockets of understanding, in separate pools of huddled people, with all knowing the objective was to pass the course, but few feeling equal to the others. 

Certainly they all saw the teacher as the expert.  However, Jesus showed them they all needed to see themselves as equal; so, he washed their feet and told them to do likewise, after graduation.  The whole experience of foot washing is completely missed by ignorant Christians [a word meaning “one who ignores”] who have no clue that hand washing was and still is a repeated ritual in the Jewish Passover Seder meals. The ritual is because they are about to eat the symbolic unleavened bread, thus handle the bread. The bread symbolizes the spiritual truths that are fed to the Jews by God. That is significant to know, as Jesus also knew that.


Jews do not realize that “unleavened” means “without Spirit” that gives rise to righteousness.  They just think they eat unleavened bread because God likes to force His people to do crazy things.  However, a lack of leavening symbolizes how God does not want His children – His students – to think they are as smart as God.  The symbolism says God wants His priests to just be flatbread and He’ll add the rising agent. Washing feet means the disciples were preparing to be themselves the spiritual food God would send to the Jews AND Gentiles. They would themselves WALK to the world as the bread of life. Thus, their feet had to be just as clean in transporting that spiritual food as would be a Jew’s hands need to be, for holding and eating symbolic matzah.


When you see Jesus performing a necessary ritual, while possessing the inside knowledge that things were soon to change in the education of Jews (and Gentiles to come), it is important to see how Jesus taught them, “You cannot graduate from my Father’s University with a less than perfect score on your final exams.”  That meant the straight A student Judas FAILED.  It meant all the C students and B students and D students CAME TOGETHER and helped one another to become graduating A students.  It meant STOP thinking you cannot master this, just like Jesus mastered it.  STOP thinking you can never be as smart as Jesus, because being as smart as Jesus is the whole point!


God the Father is not going to let some half-ass priest go out into the world preaching some half-ass Gospel, not knowing the truth of what was being told.


The secret Jesus was telling them was this: “If you bare yourself just like me, with only a towel wrapped around your waist, and if you stoop low and place dirty feet in a water basin and wash all the dirt [dirt = sin] off, THEN God the Father will see a committed student and when exam time comes He will send the Holy Spirit with all the right answers.  The secret is to stop thinking you are somebody, when you are nobody; but, you are a nobody that serves the LORD, and that is what God wants.

ᐈ For learning stock pics, Royalty Free study group pictures ...

Study group time!!!


It is vital to then see how the Maundy Thursday reading from John skips from the foot washing part of the Seder meal (which was then followed by the ritual hand washing, I presume) and leaps to after Jesus said one of the disciples would betray him.  After the dessert (called the afikoman) Judas left.  Thus, it is important to know that John wrote: “When he was gone” (“Hote oun exēlthen“), that “he” refers to Judas Iscariot. 


Judas left to do his betrayal, which symbolizes he was too superior to the gang to hang around and do more meaningless ritual stuff.  When Judas was gone, Jesus opened up his professor briefcase and pulled out an exam question that only those still there would be able to answer.  Judas leaving meant he would not receive the highest grade in the class.  It meant he would fail the course and be the lowest.


The special ‘essay question’ was this: Explain what I mean when I say, “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”


The answer for a passing grade and graduation was this: “We are God’s truly chosen people.  Not the other Jews.  Not the Gentiles who do not know Yahweh.  Not even Judas, who was with us but left.  We are about to be spared mortal death [promised eternal life] by painting ourselves with the blood of the sacrificial Lamb, meaning we will be granted our freedom [not slaves to the world] to go into the world as Holy Bread.  As graduates of Our Father University, we are a fraternity of brothers [all would be reborn as Jesus – a male – a Son], whose strength comes from loving one another, just like we washed each other’s feet to graduate.  As a brotherhood of love, we have all become Jesus – the teacher reborn – no longer the students.  As the teacher, we go to teach others just as Jesus taught us – with love and care through brotherhood and sisterhood.  We take care of the group first and foremost.  While the whole world is welcomed to let us WALK the bread of life into their hands, it is they that must take, eat and see us as the body of Jesus Christ, teaching them with love.  However, the instruction of the teacher still applies.” 


That instruction was given to all who did their CPT [Curricular Practical Training], which is still the instruction after graduation:


“The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.  Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.  Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road. When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’  If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you.  Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.  When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you.  Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’  But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say,  ‘Even the dust of your town we wipe from our feet as a warning to you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God has come near.’  I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.”


In other words, if Judas walks out on you, “Woe to him!”  That means the same woe that comes to anyone or any place that rejects God comes upon any who leave the fraternity.  Love one another just as Jesus loved you – without stop and without neglect.  You let the ones too smart for their britches go, because love is a two-way street that goes equally to and from.  Love is what makes the whole slow down to keep up with the slowest.  Love is what makes the whole make sure there are no secrets that should be shared.  Love means the whole is either all within the sheepfold or all out grazing in the pasture, as all are always together.  Love does not build fences and cast out those who are equals.  Love is being both the gate and the gatekeeper.

As I watched the Facebook video of a priest I know and care for tell his Maundy Thursday sermon, his face was right before me.  I felt like it was just he and I talking about our faith, especially with the setting being his home, during “shelter in place” fears.  Unfortunately, when I wished I could tell him what I thought and where my views differed from his, it was just some virtual world of non-reality.  He could not hear me.  That symbolizes the separation of “teacher and students,” which is an us [we teach] versus them [you listen], not like Jesus taught: wash each other’s feet.  No priest of any church I know can let down the mask of superiority, because when the mask comes down the ignorance is easier to see.  No one teaches anyone to be reborn as Christ, thus a true Christian.  The priests are more like Judas, the traitor who left the rest, abandoning the fraternity.


It is important to realize on this Christian fabrication called Maundy Thursday that we have a number of religious organizations [lest I say all professing to be Christian] that pits teachers against students, with teachers not caring about who passes or who fails.  Today there are students fighting to be the best [televangelists and megachurch pastors] and there are students giving up and caring less about what grades come {old Christians dying off and Millennials leaving the Church].  No one wants to wash anyone else’s feet [no caring or shared love].  No one wants to have their feet washed by someone else [everyone is out for oneself].  AND THAT symbolizes nobody is worthy of WALKING THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH to the world.


The bread of life is no longer flatbread risen by God’s Holy Spirit, reborn as God’s Son (regardless of what human gender Jesus resurrects within).  The pretense of unleavened is pompously on display with the leavening of self-righteousness, complete with robes and staffs that keep others from seeing the truth of what lies beneath [not bare, with only a towel around the waist] and a pole that keeps others at a safe distance [not a crook to bring in the lost sheep].  The Churches are like day old bread that has crusted and molded, no longer edible; but still the sinners pour in for some sense of wanting to be given salvation for nothing [universities that graduate based on tuition paid, not exams passed].


Let me be blunt (or more blunt than already).  I posted this article on Facebook.  I do not play the game of “friends,” but I have a few (not many as far as most have).  All of my friends (as far as I know) are professed Christians.  Many, since the passing of my wife – an Episcopalian priest – are priests who knew my wife.  Not a f***ing one “liked” what I wrote.  Not one dared “share” it.  No way in hell they would be seen consorting with the likes of me!  Not a f***ing one commented, saying something akin to, “I think you are f***ed up Robert!”  Not a f***ing one said, “Wow!  You take this stuff seriously, don’t you?”  Not a f***ing word from FRIENDS!  Not a f***ng word from Christians!  Not a f***ing word from priests!!!


Everyone can pretend to be Christian.  Everyone can pretend to be filled with Christ’s love.  Everyone can pretend they wash the feet of others … one f***ing day a year.  Everyone can pretend to be straight A students of Christianity, or pretend to be C students, thinking it is best to leave all that Scriptural stuff to the teachers and their pets.  But the sad f***ing reality is there is no Christianity alive.  Everyone has returned to being Pharisees and tax collectors and scribes and sinners and lepers and blind, lame beggars.  Everything in the New Testament is screaming at people who are calling themselves “Christian” to wake up!


If I wasn’t so committed to serving God, I would kick the dust (of death that the world is) off my sandals and be done with humanity.  But, then … who would wash the f***ing dust of your sins off my feet?  I feel sinful for having my eyes opened to this sh*t.


The kingdom of God has come near.  You don’t want to be the one John said, “When he (or she) was gone.”


You don’t want to be Judas (the one called Iscariot).


Can I have an amen?  (Only if I wake the dead.)


R. T. Tippett

#MaundyThursdayexplanation

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