“Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. “ – John 13:1
Jennifer was on the phone with her best friend, Lillian as her mother, Sue, decided to eavesdrop. The subject was the love lives of their friends and acquaintances. Amidst the giggles and gasps, hearing only one side of the conversation, a tapestry of love found and lost began to be painted. John was in love with Sally even though he was in love with Myrtle last week. She told him that she was no longer in love with him so he had to find someone new. Sue blushed and considered the “talk” she would be having with her daughter later that evening.
Jesus was no faint-hearted lover. He was not subject to likes, dislikes, and mood swings. He did not start things and leave them dangling. He understood that human love could be flighty and fleeting. But His love was eternal and unconditional. He wanted His disciples to understand that and internalize it. If there was one message He wanted to leave with them, it was the message of His love.
So, he took a towel and washed their feet. It was not only a menial task, but one that could be tedious and disgusting. In the moments that followed, He taught them more about how to receive and give His love than they could absorb in one sitting. They would reflect upon His words and deeds for the rest of their lives as we do today.
Whenever we come to the Lord’s Table, it is a table of love. It is a reminder that having loved us, Jesus love continued to the cross and, from the cross, through the resurrection and into eternity.
O love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.
(George Matheson, 1882)