“Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.” (Jn. 13:1)
Even though Jesus knew that His disciples would deny and desert Him, He loved them “to the end.” Loving them to the “end” meant that He loved them to the uttermost, loved them without end, loved them totally and completely.
Because Jesus loved them “to the end,” He didn’t save himself, didn’t worship Caesar’s image, didn’t fear Pilate, didn’t flinch before Herod, didn’t cower before the religious authorities, and didn’t run from the cross. If Jesus had done any of those things, He wouldn’t have loved them to the end.
The closer Jesus got to His death, the more tender His tenderness became, the more loving His love became, and the more compassionate His compassion became. The closer Jesus got to His end, the more we see there was no end to what He was willing to do for us.
Just as Jesus loved them “to the end,” so He loves us. This means that Jesus will never be reluctant or reticent to love us and that He will never place any strings or conditions for us to receive it.
Our faith doesn’t earn Jesus’ love; it simply opens our hearts to receive it. Our good works don’t merit His love because we can’t merit what we’ve already been given. Our sins, acting out or messing up, don’t lessen His love, for it isn’t contingent upon anything we do or don’t do.
I encourage us to believe that Jesus loved both of them and us to the end. Being so loved by Jesus means there’s no end in time to His love and no end to the limit of His love. Being so loved by Jesus is more love than we could ever truly comprehend, much less deserve. When we do have a glimmer of being loved by Jesus “to the end,” we have a glimpse of what He calls eternal life.
- Do you ever think or believe that Jesus has only so much patience or love for you? If so, what would it take for you to repent of your image of stingy Jesus so that you could trust in and receive abundant Jesus?
- If you more often and deeply trusted that there’s no limit or end for the love Jesus has for you, how would your life change?
- Jesus wants you to both accept His love and share it. How do you extend His boundless love to others?