I’m currently working through Precept’s study of “John Part 3: The True Vine … One with Him.” Yes, part three. Yes, that means we’ve been in John for a long time, which has been good. I was working through lesson four the other day and knew I wanted to share with you the prompt and where it took me.
Of course, I chose to write a devotional.
“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. … ‘A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.’”
Sometimes anticipation changes us. We stop reaching out to friends when we’re waiting for the next phase of life. We stop laughing when we fear worldly circumstances. We ignore our neighbors when it’s flu season. We hold back when we’re grieving.
But Jesus didn’t refrain from loving people until the end – even when he knew he was going to be betrayed by someone close to him, denied by another dear friend, and crucified by a government that didn’t believe who he said he was. He knew his Father had a better ending to the story and trusted his role in that victory.
Jesus was active during the Passover season even when he knew his earthly life was coming to an end. He washed his disciples’ feet (John 13:3-11), taught them (John 13:12-20), was troubled in spirit and testified anyway (John 13:21-30), encouraged people to love one another (John 13:31-35), and followed God’s plan (John 13:36-38).
Despite all the earthly hardships coming his way, Jesus remained faithful to his Father and who he was has a son. In that faithfulness, he lived out his purpose for God’s glory, even when it probably would have been easier to hunker down and isolate himself from his closest friends who were going to disappoint him because they couldn’t grasp supernatural truth with their human minds.
In our world of spiritual and political conflict, coronavirus and other sicknesses, and pressure to perform and produce, how will we treat others? Will we live like we believe we belong to God as Jesus did? Will we actively love, even if that means knowing we’ll be disappointed and denied?
Father God, let us be a people who follow Jesus, especially when we face unknown futures and conflicts. Let us be people who love others in ways that show the world we’re Yours. In Jesus’ name, Amen.