Reading: John 13
It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love. (John 13:1)
Reflecting and Thinking
This is a familiar chapter to many Bible students, but equally unknown. We have often focused on only one verse-verse 35: love is how the world will know we are disciples. Have we missed that the chapter is as much about an attitude of service as it is about love? In fact, it affirms that love is reflected in service. It is not how many we say we love; it is how many we serve as a demonstration of that love. The love Jesus talks about is self-sacrificing, willing even to give one's entire life. "Love as I have loved you. Love one another to the fullest, love to the end." Suddenly, love is not nearly so much fun. Jesus' example is more than words-he does something that foreshadows the ultimate sacrifice he is prepared to make.
When have really loved someone unlovable? Really loved someone you did not know? Really loved someone undeserving? Really loved another Christian? When have you experienced love, not as a feeling or sharing fellowship, but as genuine service that required you to make a sacrifice and go out of your way?
Heavenly Father, teach us to love as Jesus loved. Help us to show our love by what we do, and not merely to say. Give us a loving spirit of humility and compassion, a willingness to serve whomever wherever you give us the opportunity, of forgiveness and love even when we have been wronged and rejected. Help us to follow Jesus' example, in His name, Amen.