” Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, 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, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.” John 13:1-5
Jesus knew a lot at this point–that God had given Him authority over all things; that He would soon take on the sin of the world, all its pain, grief, and agonizing separation from God on the cross before returning to Him; that Judas would betray and Peter deny Him. With this weight of knowledge, He made the most of His remaining hours on earth to love His own, and love abundantly. He humbly knelt at the disciples’ feet, carefully pouring water, rubbing and soothing their dusty mode of transportation into clean comfort, and as He washed, He taught. He prepared them for what was to come, He told them they needed to stay clean, He instructed them to follow His example by serving others and pointing them to the Savior Who cleansed the heart and soul, He urged them to deeper faith, He lifted their thoughts above the world to the divine by foretelling the Holy Spirit and explaining the trinity. He illustrated the love He wanted them to portray to the world once He was gone.
I am in the season of remembering my father’s last weeks… has it really been ten years?… and recall how well he loved to the end. It was never about him, always others. What he knew inside to be true drove him only to focus on those around him, to love with the twinkle in his eye, and pain-filled affection, and the “how are you and your family?” to all who called. He bore the message of Jesus as a sinner clothed in righteousness, unselfishly extending the grace he’d received, and gratitude and kindness to everyone he saw.
We do not know what a day will bring forth, the tempest or the calm. Man knows not his time. But we can live and love each day “to the end,” making the most of every opportunity to set ourselves aside, kneel in humility before others, and serve, teach, prefer, forgive, encourage with truth, kindly and practically love them well. This is how we follow in Jesus’s steps and so invite others to know Him. When I lie down at night, can I say, “Lord, all You asked me to do I have done?” (Ecclesiastes 9:12)
My Servant-Savior, thank You for Your example. May all I do be done with You in mind and with all my heart. May I be steadfast and immovable in covering all offenses and lavishing Your grace, loving others to the end as You have loved me. (Proverbs 10:12; John 13:15; 1 Corinthians 15:58; Colossians 3:17; 1 John 3:18)