As I sit down to write, it’s Thursday of Holy Week and John 13 is the next chapter on my writing schedule. There are no coincidences in God’s perfect timing.
I’ve often wondered what it was like for Jesus that night before His arrest, trial, crucifixion, and death? But today, I’m pausing to think about HIs inner circle . . . those closest to Him. The ones He addressed in John 13 – 17.
In August of 2007, Rev and I were told that he needed heart surgery . . . one that most cardiologists didn’t want to perform because the mortality rate was high and the morbidity rate was higher. We were given the news that it was his only hope but it was very likely he wouldn’t survive. During the days leading up to surgery, Rev and I had one conversation after another to help me know how to manage the parts of our lives that he had always managed.
I tried to pay attention but honestly, I didn’t want to think about it and I didn’t want to hear it.
Jesus had been telling His disciples for weeks that His suffering and death was nearing.
John 13 begins with the words…
Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father. He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end.John 13:1
Jesus spent that evening instructing His disciples and preparing them for a weekend that would change their lives forever.
- He washed their feet and taught them about humble service. (13:4–17)
- He pointed out His betrayer. (13:18–30)
- He predicted Peter’s denial. (13:31–38)
- He taught them about the Father. (14:1–13)
- He promised the Holy Spirit. (14:14–30)
- He encouraged them to remain focused on Him and His love. (15:1–17)
- He told them about the world’s opposition and hatred. (15:18–16:4)
- He taught them about the Holy Spirit. (16:5–15)
- He taught them prayer and promised His presence. (16:16–33)
- He prayed for Himself, for them, and for all of us. (17:1–25)
Love was the theme that night. Jesus love and theirs.
He showed them that true love is more than warm fuzzy feelings and flowery words. True love is revealed in actions.
“I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”John 13:34–35
The Life Application Bible Notes explain that to love like Jesus we must help when it’s not convenient, give when it’s hard, actively care for the welfare of others, and absorb the hurts inflicted by others with grace and mercy.
Loving like Jesus is hard. No . . . it’s impossible without God’s help.
A Prayer to Love Like Jesus
Father, thank you for Jesus. I can’t imagine how difficult those days leading up to His death must have been. He knew that He would be rejected, betrayed, tortured, and abandoned. And yet, He continued to walk forward with love and humble service.
It’s so easy for me to focus on myself. To let my own concerns and fears distract from the needs of those around me. To quickly speak about love but neglect to act with love. Please forgive me.
Please help me. I want to love like Jesus. I want to act with compassion and kindness. I want to give generously. And I want to consistently offer grace and mercy to the people who hurt me. On my own, I can’t. I won’t. But with Your help, I believe I am able to surrender myself so You can love people through me. I love You, Lord and I want to willingly love sacrificially . . . like Jesus. In whose name, I pray. Amen.
May you and I join the disciples these next few days and humbly listen and learn as Jesus teaches us and shows us how to love.
On today’s note write:
God, please help me love like Jesus.
God bless you today as you celebrate and share the extent to which you are loved by Jesus.
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