Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.
The time had come. Jesus’ hour had arrived. The betrayal, the rejection, the trial, the scourging, the crucifixion and His own death would come to pass as He’d foretold. The disciples would be shattered by the things that would happen. They would be lost and scattered without Him there to guide them. They would be full of sorrow, hurt, and confusion. But that didn’t change His love. Though He was soon to return to His Father, His love yet abides with His own. Though things were about to change quite drastically for His disciples, His love for them would never change.
So Jesus savors some last moments with them. He ministers to them by washing their feet, demonstrating the heart of a servant’s love. He ate the Passover meal with them, sharing the love of friendship with them. They go for one last walk in the garden, and He tells them some important things, showing the love of the Master for His disciples. He prays for them, showing the love of God for His children. Indeed, Jesus loved them until that very last moment.
But that’s just like Jesus, who He had been all along, who He still is today. He wasn’t thinking of Himself, but the ones He loved. He wasn’t focused on Himself, but what He could do for them. He takes advantage of these last precious moments with them because they will never have time like this again. Once He died and rose again, His relationship with them would change a little bit. No longer would He be their earthly Master, but their heavenly Lord. No longer would He be with them in the flesh, but in Spirit.
That love Jesus demonstrated so tangibly in His relationship with His disciples is the same love He has for us, too, disciples who may not have walked with Him on Earth, but who believe on Him and love Him just the same. That love Jesus has is the reason He came in the first place and the reason He would go forth to His cross. That love brought Him to earth to die so that those who accept Him can dwell in that love eternally. May we live with an understanding of what Jesus’ love for us looks like, what it really means. And may we reflect that love back to Him and to those around us through our faithful service to Him.