John Chapter 13
By Pastor Alex
Here, as Jesus shares some of his final teaching moments with His disciples, we see the love of Jesus shine with glimmering beauty off the pages. Who could have imagined this great love? My friends, my brothers and sisters who share together in a heavenly calling, do we understand what great unsearchable grace, honor, and blessing has been bestowed upon us? Think of this for a moment: Jesus loves all mankind (God so loved the world), but we know that most will never even taste and see the goodness of that love, because of their stubborn rebellion and unbelief. Through faith, you and I have been invited into not just tasting, but fully living in this love for all eternity. The gospel that has regenerated and forever changed us is a gift of such amazing love that angels long to look into it (1 Peter 1:12).
Many, many people only experience the love of Jesus displayed. Judas Iscariot is a prime example. My wife has noted before something I never had seen in scripture: namely, Judas was still there seated at the table when Jesus washed the disciples’ feet. Jesus did not gloss over the truth: He told them all plainly, “You are not all clean,” referring to Judas (vv. 10-11). But just imagine… Jesus still took the time to wash Judas’ dirty feet, and wipe them with the towel that was around His waist. Behold, Jesus’ love displayed! Yet, Judas would then rise from that table to go plunge headfirst into mud that would stain him for all eternity. He saw the display but stopped short and never entered into the love of Jesus fulfilled.
It is only those people whom the Bible refers to as the elect who truly experience the love of Jesus fulfilled. We read in the New Testament that God foreknew the elect – He knew before the beginning of time who would believe His message and believe on His Son (Romans 8:29; 1 Peter 1:2). It wouldn’t be by coming to Him with the best track record, or enough zeal, but by really putting our faith in Jesus that we inherit heaven. Back in chapter six, we read, “For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him” (6:64). Even here at the last supper, Jesus states, “I do not speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen,” referring again to Judas’ betrayal (v. 18). Judas saw love displayed, but unbelief gripped his heart and the devil entered in. By faith in Jesus, the other disciples surrendered to that Love; the other disciples embraced that Love. Beloved, I hope you see yourself here! The elect includes you and me if we truly believe! We do not have to stop at seeing His love displayed, but we can experience His love fulfilled.
I love the first verse, where we read, “having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end” (v. 1). He loved you and me to the last breath; He loved us to the point of His blood being shed and all the weighty sin of us all being cast upon His shoulders. He took the wrath of God for us. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His Blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him” (Romans 5:8-9).
But there is one last thing: the love of Jesus is not truly fulfilled until we then begin to display His love to each other. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another” (v. 34). Jesus gave us a model by getting on the floor to wash dirty feet, by bleeding and dying on the cross for crimes and offenses that were not His. Lord, let this amazing love be displayed in us for each other.