Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.
– John 13:1
This is the way the apostle John began his account of what Jesus said and did the night before He died – including verses we have been pondering the last few days. As they say of an athlete who has given his best in a game, “He left it all on the field.”
We’ve seen that love was a theme of Jesus’ remarks to His closest disciples that night (emphasis added):
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
– John 13:34-35
“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”
– John 14:15
“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.
– John 15:12-13
John gives the appropriate context to these commands of Jesus by pointing out how Jesus had loved with His life: “having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.”
Jesus’ life demonstrates that love is, more than anything else, service. Jesus served others. That’s the behavior side of love, but there is also a motive side of love, too. The motive side is the other person’s best interests.
Let’s start with the motive side. Jesus did not always do what people wanted, but He always sought to do what people needed. This is important. People generally want a lot more than they need. Trying to meet the wants of others will wear a person out. Just trying to meet needs is difficult enough. Jesus sought to meet the most important needs that people had: starting with their need for forgiveness of their sins, but also including physical needs like food, eyesight, hearing, and so on.
As for the behavior side, Jesus was about action. He wasn’t about flowery words and gushy emotions. He was about doing all He could.
Let us likewise “love to the end.”
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Lord, show me how I can give more of myself …(this is where you remain quiet to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.
(All scriptures, unless otherwise noted, are taken from the NASB.)