February 18 – Jesus Loves His Own

Monday, February 18, 2013

February 18 – Jesus Loves His Own

Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. (John 13:1, NRSV)

The New International Version translates the last phrase as “he showed them the full extent of his love” rather than “he loved them to the end.”  Another commentator writes that the translation means that Jesus is about to show them one final proof of his love.  In the following passage, Jesus lowers himself to the status of a slave and washes his disciples’ feet.

I've read this passage many times and today, my eyes focused immediately on the phrase “Having loved his own who were in the world …”

Jesus loved his disciples.  He loved them.  All of them. This is one of the things about that rag tag group of men that is so incredible.  Jesus showed us how much he loves us, by exhibiting that love first-hand to men who covered the spectrum of human personality.

Peter was brash and bold.  Sometimes his mouth got in the way of his brain.  His brother Andrew was a people pleaser. It was Andrew who brought others to see Jesus.  Simon was a Zealot, a man who was willing to use violence in order to protest the Roman intrusion in Israel. James and John, the sons of Thunder.  Their mother tried to get Jesus to promise they would sit at his right and left sides I heaven.  They once thought it would be appropriate to call down heaven’s wrath on a man.  We learn more about Philip after Jesus died. He was the one who rode with an Ethiopian man and answered his questions about the Lord.  Matthew was a tax collector, never someone others would befriend.

All of these very different men came together as a group to learn from Jesus Christ and he loved them.

Jesus’ love was all-inclusive.  He was disappointed in them, angry with them, frustrated by them and he worried over them, but he loved them.

He loves us. We are his own.