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Some passages of Scripture are just so full of glorious revelations of Christ and His love, it boggles the mind. And such is John 13:1-20 which along with Joel 1:2-2:27 and Revelation 8:1-5 form our reading bloc today.
Look at how each phrase is so pregnant with truth.
1. He loved HIS OWN The Body of Christ is – His family. His own. We are not loved as strangers but as belonging to Him.
2. He loved them who were “IN THE WORLD”He doesn’t love a “heavenly people” already glorified, nice and neat and clean, but He loves a WEAK and FLAWED people.The Church is the most “dysfunctional” family on earth. But oh how He loves us!
3. He loved them to THE ENDIn His worst moments, He did not leave off His love for them in order to concentrate on Himself. He was NOT self-absorbed
4. He loved them HUMBLYWashing their feet. Nothing – even the prospect of the Cross, and all of its horrors, could deter Him from His servant’s humility.And He did this – V-3 “Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God”!He came to give Himself, His all – in a context of divine self-forgetfulness – humility.
5. He loved them PERSONALLY He didn’t just order their feet to be washed, He washed them. He doesn’t command us to save ourselves, or even the angels to save us – He saves us Himself.
6. He loved them at the point of their UNCLEANNESS He washes their feet. vs. 5 – In tying the towel around Himself to wipe the disciple’s feet – their filth, our filth was placed upon Him. He wore it.
7. He loved the TRANFORMINGLY He cleansed them, not leaving them in their sin.
8. He loved them in the face of their RESISTANCE to be loved Peter didn’t want to be humbled in this way. Neither do we. Some of us want God – but not at the expense of having to consider ourselves as REALLY needing saving – as being sinners. We don’t mind needing help – we just don’t want it to be ALL of grace – where we are completely unworthy. But He loves us anyway, and is the only means to our being CLEAN before God. That’s too much for our egos.
9. He loved them knowing one of them would commit the ultimate BETRAYAL of that love The worst of all sins is betrayal, to betray trust, confidence, intimacy, exclusivity. It is what made the fall a personal offense against God, and not just sin generically. He appointed us His image-bearers, and to keep His Garden and display His goodness and grace to all.
10. He loved them in the face of their inability to UNDERSTAND His purpose and mission He loved them through the pain of being misunderstood, and helpless to straighten it out. Being misunderstood is one of the worst things in all of human experience.
11. He loved them knowing of their impending ABANDONMENT of Him Nothing is as empty as to not even be worth another’s negative concern. It is to feel worthless – superfluous – faceless – meaningless – anonymous.
12. He loved them with ETERNITY in view Yes, I know you will fail me now, but I am looking forward to when we will be around the throne, and such things won’t matter anymore. I am loving you PAST the present. 1. He loves HIS OWN2. Who are IN THE WORLD 3. He loves them to THE END 4. He loves them HUMBLY 5. He loves them PERSONALLY 6. He loves them at the point of their UNCLEANNESS 7. He loves them TRANSFORMINGLY 8. He loves them in the face of their RESISTANCE to be loved 9. He loves them in the face of their inability to UNDERSTAND 10. He loves them knowing there will be unspeakable failures11. He loves them knowing of their impending ABANDONMENT of Him12. He loves them with ETERNITY in view.
This, Christian, is how He loves you too.
God willing, we’ll be back tomorrow.