February 8, 2009

Love that Lasts (John 13:1-17)

By: Rev. Jeremiah Cheung

John 13:1 “It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for Him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, He now showed them the full extent of his love.”

The phrase “to the full extent”, in the original text means “to enter into the ultimate point.” A lot of love in this world begins remarkably but ends miserably, never reaching its fullest extent.

But the Lord loved his disciples to the fullest extent, because:

I. The Lord accepted the disciples as His own so He loved them to the fullest 13:1

John 13 records three events:
a. The Lord Jesus washed the disciples’ feet
b. The Lord Jesus established the holy communion
c. The Lord Jesus gave a new commandment, to love one another.

Verse one shows us why the Lord Jesus did these three things – He knew that He was about to leave this world and return to the Father. And, having loved His own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of His love. The Lord ascertained one thing, that since the disciples were His own, He loved them ultimately.

II. “The Love that Lasts” begins with `knowing’ until it enters into its fullness

The phrase “the full extent” originally meant “to enter into the ultimate point.” Love that lasts is love that enters to its fullest extent.

How can love enter to its fullest extent? The word “know” occurs in John 13 seven times.
v.1 Jesus knew
v.3 Jesus knew…and that he knew
v7. you do not realize now what I am doing (i.e., the Lord knew what he was doing)
v.11 For he knew who was going to betray him
v.17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them
v.18 I know those I have chosen.

The word ‘know’ here means to know deeply. In Genesis 4:1 “Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain.” The word “lay with his wife” here refers to the sexual intimacy between husband and wife. And this word in the original text was ‘know.’ Adam lay with his wife, from that day on, Adam knew his wife, he knew and understood her deeply. The Lord knew, the Lord knows and understands us deeply.

III. “The love that lasts” truly takes action

The Lord Jesus knew and loved fully, but he also took action.

John 13 records three actions:
1. He washed the disciples’ feet
2. He established the Holy Communion
3. He gave the command to love.

The love that lasts truly takes action. It cannot merely speak of love. In washing the disciples’ feet, the Lord Jesus showed his humble love. Jesus did this to set an example.

John 13:14-15 “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”
The Lord wanted his disciples to follow in his footsteps, to wash one another’s feet, to serve and love one another.

Love is a blessing, but without action, there can be no blessing. Does your love come with action? Bring out your action!!

February 8, 2009