The word “disciple” means “learner.” But what makes a disciple different than a student? A disciple is completely devoted to the teacher. A disciple walks along with the teacher, listening and changing because of him. A disciple might say something like, “I want to think like my teacher. I want to be like my teacher.” A student departs at the end of the course. But a disciple remains at the feet of the teacher.
We are not students of Jesus Christ. We are disciples. As we follow him today along the Way of Salvation, we should also say, “I want to think like my teacher. I want to be like my teacher.” Our teacher will not say much more to us; but he will act, and we will watch. We will see the greatest love of all, the kind that lays down its life for a friend. And so as disciples, we will see what we too must do.
One thing that makes this day so holy and so good is not only what he did, but what he teaches us to do. As is expected of disciples, we must continue the work of the Master:
“We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us – and we ought to lay down our lives for one another” (1 Jn. 3:16).