that you love one another as I have loved you
What was "new" about this? Love your neighbor as yourself was a very OLD commandment. Wasn't that good enough? Was "as I have loved you" different?
Immediately after washing the disciples feet he gave this command. Ok, so it's about having a servant attitude. "If I your LORD and teacher have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet."
But something even more powerful jumped out at me earlier in this scene. The Bible says that Jesus knew that Judas was about to betray Him. He told His disciples that HE KNEW one of them was about to betray them. He KNEW that Satan had entered Judas' heart.
And then He did it.
He demonstrated the NEW commandment.
He washed Judas' feet.
I don't think it was easy for Him either.
He told them clearly that one of them would betray Him and He was troubled in spirit.
The Prince of Peace was troubled in sprit because those whom He loved were betraying Him. Not just Judas alone, but the whole Jewish nation. His own people.
Still, Jesus washed Judas' feet.
That was new. That was supreme love-- agape love-- deomonstrated.