Monday, February 22, 2021
Is there an end to your ability to love someone? Can you reach the limit of patience with someone who frustrates you? Have you ever given up on someone because they failed you too often? Have you chosen to stop investing in someone’s life because the risks and lack of rewards outweigh the investment you feel you have made? Have you walked away from a relationship because they did one more thing that was the final straw for you?
As I read the account of the three year relationship between Jesus and His disciples, I am convinced that I would have given up on them. Especially if I knew what Jesus knew. Not only had the twelve disciples failed to comprehend the spiritual significance of what Jesus was teaching, but one of them was about to sell Him out to those who would kill Him. Jesus would soon be left alone. No one would assist Him in His hour of need. No one would stand by Him.
Yet knowing all of this, John the Apostle makes an incredible statement about the heart of Jesus in chapter thirteen of his Gospel. With all the past failures, disappointments, and misunderstandings fully in view, and with omniscient knowledge of the disciple’s upcoming abandonment, John watched Jesus love them all to the end. He never stopped loving them.
Read what John said:
John 13:1 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
Read it again. “…having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.”
Do I need to say any more? Maybe just this question. Can we claim to have been captured by the love of Jesus when we have given up on those who need to be loved? When our needs aren’t being met by a friend, we minimize our contact with them. When our church doesn’t meet our needs, we walk away. What has happened to the love of Jesus that loves to the end?
Jesus loved until His love had its full effect. The Apostle John gave us this description of Jesus as an introduction to the very next action of love Jesus showed to His disciples. Jesus was about to show ultimate love through an act of service by washing His disciple’s feet. They doubted Him. They misunderstood Him. They saw Him only for the political and personal benefit He would bring to them. One saw only a financial benefit. Yet He loved them to the full extent of love by serving them. Jesus washed their filthy feet.
So before you walk away from that friendship, or from that church, or from that job, or from that family, ask yourself this – have I loved them to the full extent of Christ’s love for me?