He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth,
and now he loved them to the very end. John 13:1
Sometimes love is easy. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and everyone’s acting like they should. Jesus had plenty of those times with his twelve closest buddies. They had been a ragtag bunch of misfits when He found them: fishermen, tax collectors, selfish, greedy, and rough. But He had patiently taught them what they needed to know to become the men He knew they could be. He’d watched their eyes widen in amazement when He turned the water into wine, turned a sack lunch into a feast, and turned cripples into sprinters. He’d loved it when they clamored for more: more miracles, more understanding, more of God. He loved these guys, rough as they were. God had given them to Him. They were His friends. And in their own way, they loved Him too.
But now the end was coming. He knew it and they didn’t. He sat across the table from the backstabbing Judas who was about to betray Him to His enemies. He listened to the boastful claims of the self-confident Peter who would deny they had ever met. He looked over the heads of his twelve closest friends and knew that none of them would be there for Him when He needed them most. He knew more about them than they knew about themselves. They were all going to fail Him…but He loved them anyway. Right to the very end.
Do you have that kind of loyalty to the people in your life? It’s easy to love when they love you back. But what about when those people have failed you? When they weren’t there for you when you needed them? Jesus shows us how it’s done. If He could love us, knowing what He knows about us, then we can love people too. Right to the very end.