Before Jesus and his disciples ate the Passover supper, Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. Jesus taught them that He is their example, and that they should do the things He did. He taught them about how important it is to love and show love.
Jesus was not only talking to His twelve disciples, He was teaching all those who follow Him. We should try to show love to one another, keep the commandments to show love for Jesus Christ, and remember the love Jesus has for us and the sacrifice he made for us. The sacrament is an opportunity to remember Jesus Christ each week and renew our promise to always remember Him.
“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
When Jesus gave this new commandment to “love one another” (John 13:34–35), was He speaking only to His twelve disciples?
What is a disciple?
How can we show Jesus that we are His disciples?
How do we know that God loves us?
What can we do to always remember Jesus?
“In today’s world, nowhere is that bedrock foundation of love needed more than in the home. And nowhere should the world find a better example of that foundation than in the homes of Latter-day Saints who have made love the heart of their family life. … Love is the very essence of the gospel, the noblest attribute of the human soul.” Thomas S. Monson
It’s about a week before the end of Jesus’s mortal life, and he visits some dear friends in Bethany, including Mary, Martha, and Lazareth. Yes, that Lazareth. While Martha diligently serves a special dinner, Mary anoints Jesus’ feet with precious oil, oil worth a year’s income. As the aroma fills the air, Judis Iscariot is incensed. He pretends to be upset that the expensive oil could have been sold for the poor or something else. Leave her alone. It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. Wait, for his burial? Yes, Jesus knew his death is near. And while the poor would always be there to serve, the time to serve Him during his life on earth was coming to an end. Coveting what was consecrated for the Lord and angry at being corrected, Judis fully turns on the Savior, striking a dark deal to deliver Jesus to his enemies for 30 pieces of silver, the price of a slave. Remember Joseph, who was sold as a slave into Egypt by his brothers and later saved them from famine? Now, Jesus of Nazareth, who only went about doing good, but is betrayed and sold out, will complete his mission and pay the price to unshackle us from death and sin.
A few days later, Jesus and his disciples are in Jerusalem for the Passover feast, celebrating how God freed the Israelites from slavery. You’ll recall the destroying angel passed over Egypt but spared the faithful who painted lambs blood over their doors. They were under the protection of the sacrifice of the Lamb. See where this is going? Now, before dinner, Jesus washes the super filthy, dusty, stinky sandal wearing feet of his disciples. Peter objects to the Lord doing such a thing. He’s the Master, not the servant, right? But Jesus is willing to tend to the dirtiest part of us. And in fact, we must let him because only Jesus can make us clean. As they eat and talk, Jesus reveals that one of the disciples would betray him. The Apostles are shocked and saddened and wonder who it could be. Is it I? They ask. You can read more of the story in John 13, but it’s Julius who leaves the feast to go betray Jesus and collect payment from the men who want to know where they can nab Jesus in secret. In these final hours, what would Jesus teach His disciples? He takes the unleavened bread of the Passover, symbolizing Israel’s choice to be faithful and escape destruction and blessed it.
Take, eat, this is my body. This is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. Yes, this is the beginning of the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, where we remember Him every week in a very special way and symbolically make him more and more part of us. For a refresher on the Passover and sacrament, check out this episode. Catching on that this was a farewell feast, Thomas wonders aloud, Where are you going? And how will we know the way to follow? I am the way and the truth and the life. But it’s not about following him on his travels. It’s about learning His will and making it part of us and trying our best to show that through our actions. Simply put, we move toward the Father by becoming more like Jesus. After the feast, the disciples follow Jesus through the Kidron Valley, and he teaches them some beautiful parting lessons. I am the true vine, and my father is the gardener. Yes, you gardeners already know this, but pruning actually promotes the growth of fruit. God trims out the bad and unnecessary to help us make room for the great.
And while pruning, changing, and trials are painful, his gardening is love that helps us receive eternal happiness. And then the Master Gardener gives us the key to produce the fruit of the fewing the best fruit as I have loved you, love one another. Ye are my friends. Jesus explains that he won’t leave us in the dark to follow orders blindly like a servant. No, all we need to do to call the mighty Lord a friend is to try our best to obey him. And as friends, we have access to the light of the Gospel. I will see you again. Jesus knows his disciples will be distraught when he dies, but because of his approaching atonement, even death can only separate us from loved ones for a short time. I will send the Comforter unto you. The Comforter or the Holy Ghost is the ultimate gift to help us in our journey through this crazy world. We’ll learn a lot more about the Spirit as we get into the Acts and Epithels of the Apostles. Be of good cheer. I have overcome the world. Most of Jesus’s final messages are words of comfort when actually he was about to suffer the most unimaginable pain.
What does that tell us about the Savior? Finally, he pauses to pray to his Father, pleading for the welfare of his Apostles and us. What does that we can read and reread this absolutely moving and marvelous prayer to learn deep truths about the nature of the universe, about the pre Earth life and what is to come, but most especially about our relationship with our heavenly father. Jesus talks about the glory, joy, truth, and oneness that he experiences with the Father and how he wants the same thing for us. In fact, making this possible is the very purpose of his mission. And for their sakes, I sanctify myself that they also might be sanctified through the truth. So can we help others by sanctifying ourselves? Yes. Sometimes we may feel like there’s nothing we can do to uplift a troubled friend or improve a tough situation. But if Christ’s light is shining through us, we can never underestimate our influence. Jesus and his Apostles now stand between the temple Mount and the Garden of Gethsemane under the light of the full moon. When animals were sacrificed, like the lambs during the Passover, their blood would drain down into the small brook that ran through this valley.
Perhaps at that moment, Jesus was thinking of Psalm 23, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me. And next, we’ll go with the Lamb of God over the stream toward the olive press. Almost 50 years ago, Living scriptures was founded to help everyone better understand and feel the power of God’s Word. Who knew that today’s Line Upon Line series would touch half a million lives every week? Season 4, The Glorious New Testament is in production, and you are invited to help us in this great cause by clicking the donation link below. And as our gift to you, anyone donating $10 per month also receives a living scripture streaming subscription. For a donation of $1,000 or more, our artists will give your likeness a cameo in one of our videos. Together, through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we can make a lasting impact on countless people around the world. From all of us, thank you. Now, go read the scriptures for yourself.