He loved them to the end ∙
Having loved his own who were in the world, he now loved them to the very end. – John 13:1
2 Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.
3 If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.
4 Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else.
5 For we are each responsible for our own conduct.
7 Do not be deceived. God will not be made a fool [mocked]. For a person will reap what he sows. You will always harvest what you plant.
8 Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.
9 Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not give up.
Most everyone is familiar with what are called Soap Operas. The term soap opera originated from radio dramas there were actually sponsored by soap manufacturers. They are serial melodramas with multiple principal characters. Real-life situations and challenges are transformed into long-term storylines. They are often very sentimental, filled with unexpected twists and turns and cliffhangers that keep the viewers coming back for more.
“Love to the End” is a 2018 Korean soap opera with 104 episodes.
It told the story of unrequited love, which finally ended up for the best. The main female character falls in love. But the object of her love is uninterested. He has a girlfriend and does not return her love. But the protagonist remains true in her love for him, faithfully to the end. Because of her enduring love, she fights for and holds onto her love and perseveres. She never gives up, no matter what obstacles she faces. Finally, her love and determination are rewarded, and her love is reciprocated.
Often in real life, our challenges are so overwhelming that we are tempted to throw in the towel. We continually strive to do the right thing, but things seem to last only a short time. And things seem to revert, and we are back where we started. We seem to move three steps forward and then two steps backward. It tends to be tedious and highly discouraging. We get bogged down in the middle of dense woods. We cannot see the forest because of the trees. We cannot grasp the big picture because we focus primarily on the details, particularly those that annoy us.
But the view from above is quite different. Looking down and back, we can see how much forward progress we have made. This should be the source of renewed determination to love to the end and not give up. This is the perspective of the Father. He not only sees the progress, but He also sees the end result. And that is what He is determined to achieve in each of His children’s lives.
John 13:1 Having loved his own who were in the world, he now loved them to the very end.
The Greek text reveals the subtle sublimity of this short sentence. The verb translated as loved is agapao. Agape is the noun form of this verb. In the first instance, having loved is an aorist participle in Greek. It sums up the Lord Jesus Christ’s relationship with His disciples. He continually loved them throughout His time with them. He had always loved them(UBS). He never stopped loving them, no matter what.
The second time the apostle John uses the term, he indicates that during the final hours of His life, the Lord Jesus Christ loved them to the very end.
John adds the phrase, the very end. The Greek words are eis telos. To the end has a dual meaning. In the temporal sense, He loved them until the very end. In modern English, until His last breath. It also has an adverbial quality. He loved them completely or utterly. We might say, to the greatest extent possible (Michaels).
The Lord Jesus Christ never stopped loving His disciples. He loved them completely right up until the very end.
This is the same love He has for each child of the King. He will never stop loving us.
REFLECT & PRAY
The Lord Jesus Christ always finishes what He starts. He never drops someone in midstream or gives up on a person halfway to the finish line (Stanley).
Father it is such a comfort to know that You will never stop loving me. I cannot make You love me more, and I cannot make You love me less.
Contemplate for a moment the historical circumstances. The Lord Jesus Christ was about to be betrayed; He would soon be captured and arrested. All of his followers would then abandon Him. This would be followed by a mock trial, beatings, humiliation, and a horrid death by crucifixion.
Was He overwhelmed or distraught? Was He angry or bitter? Absolutely not. Instead, He saw this as the moment of His greatest achievement. It was the moment in which He would be glorified (John 17:2). It was the fulfillment of His reason for coming into the world. He came to die for the sins of the entire world and make redemption possible. He was carrying out the Father’s ultimate purpose for His life.
There was no moping about or sadness. Instead, He demonstrated the full extent of His love to the end. Knowing everything was about to take place, He did a totally unexpected and extraordinary thing.
4 So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist,
5 and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him.
This is how the quintessential servant of the King lived, served, and died. He always thought of others and put them first (Philippians 2:3).
12 After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing?
13 You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am.
14 And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet.
15 I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.
Remember that night when you are tempted to give up and throw in the tongue because of seemingly unbearable circumstances.
Instead of throwing in the towel, wrap it around your waist and dig in.
Hebrews 12:4 In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.
© Dr. H 2022