FULL EXTENT OF HIS LOVE
I have always had a fascination with the apostle John’s writings. Especially his gospel. So many things are in his letter that are not in Matthew, Mark or Luke. John, the beloved apostle knew Jesus very well. His writings reflect it. It is full of personal kinds of remembrances of his Lord and dear friend.
For it is only John that records that interesting but lengthy account of the Last Supper. John’s narrative of the Upper Room event is recorded in John chapter 13. Verse one begins, “It was almost time for the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that it was time for him to leave this world and go back to the Father. He had always loved those who were his own in the world, and he loved them all the way to the end.” (NCV). To in other words, ‘he now showed them the full extent of his love’.
We ask ourselves, ‘how did Jesus show the full extent of his love?’ Well, probably we would say, ‘the cross’. Yes and that would be right. But, these verses, in John, of the last supper are but simply one portion of our Lord’s life with the apostles that demonstrate his love for them.
That leads me to the verb in this verse. Not just his love; not just the upper room; not just the Passover Feast; not just that his time to leave was at hand; BUT THE WORD, SHOWED. Not only does Jesus say that he loves them but he will demonstrate it. HE WILL SHOW THEM THE FULL EXTENT OF HIS LOVE. The price of redemption required a blood sacrifice. He did not just preach and teach them. For over 3 years he SHOWED them his love. It was not in the dynamic of a New Testament, a new will, a different teaching but a DEMONSTRATION of how that new will, teaching or commandment was to be laid out.
It’s like Jesus was saying ‘now you will see it all’. You will see what loving others really means. You will see what complete sacrifice means. You will see how love is demonstrated. You will see what ‘the full extent of love’ really means.
That why I believe the amplification of that phrase is found in John 13:34-35, “I give you a new command; love each other. You must love each other as I have loved you. All people will know that you are my followers if you love each other.”
So, I have to ask myself this question as a follower of Jesus. This verse begs me who ask! Who am I showing ‘the full extent’ of love? Who in my life needs the ‘full extent’ of my love? My wife? My children? Neighbor? Co-worker?
Remember, reclining around that table in the upper room is a denier, a betrayer plus they all will renounce their loyalty when Jesus is arrested. YET! In spite of their shortcomings, He SHOWED then the full extent of his love. So, I again ask myself that question. HOW AM I DOING IN SHOWING LOVE, THE FULL EXTENT OF LOVE to all those around me.
How about you? How are you doing fulfilling John 13:34-35?