The Full Extent of His Love
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 21 | JOHN 13:1-5
“Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.” John 13:1
Everybody needs to be loved. It’s one of the deepest truths of our shared human condition. More specifically, we all need to be shown love.
When my children were small, they sometimes engaged in trying to express how much they loved me. With arms and hands outstretched as far as their toddler-sized bodies would allow, they strained to show the extent of their love: “This is how much I love you, Mommy!” Of course, I was delighted!
As Jesus spent his precious final hours with his disciples, his primary objective was to make clear why he had come to earth. While the shadow of the cross crept steadily toward him, Jesus showed his disciples the central meaning of his mission: God’s love. “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son” (John 3:16).
How did Jesus communicate that message of love? In an upper
room one night, not long before he would suffer and die on a
cross, Jesus knelt down in front of his disciples and washed
their feet. The One who had come from heaven humbly washed away the earth’s dirt from between his followers’ toes. What an unusual expression of love!
Jesus’ message of love is surprising. It’s countercultural. Jesus’ love bends low. His love washes us clean. Jesus’ love searches and reaches out for us: and he loves us “to the end.”
Have you opened your heart to the fullness of Christ’s love?
you for loving me. Help me
to grasp how high and wide and deep and long your love is for all people. Amen.
—WRITTEN BY RUTH BOVEN TODAY Lent Devotional 2021