Jn13:1 – “Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus, knowing that His hour had come that He would depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.”
I love this phrase “to the end”; it has so many implied connotations. It speaks of Jesus loving His disciples all the way up to His death on the cross, even when His own circumstances are crying out for attention. It speaks of loving them until the completion of His redemption plan. It also implies His love and care for His followers until their race is completed. Best of all, it reminds us that His love is eternal; He will love us personally throughout the coming ages. He displayed this love during the last supper by tenderly washing each disciple’s feet. His love is tender and personal. Here is how Matthew Henry describes this phrase, “He loved them to the end”:
“This is true of the disciples that were his immediate followers, in particular the twelve. These were his own in the world, his family, his school, his bosom-friends. Children he had none to call his own, but he adopted them, and took them as his own.…These he loved, he called them into fellowship with himself, conversed familiarly with them, was always tender of them, and of their comfort and reputation. He allowed them to be very free with him, and bore with their weaknesses. He loved them to the end, continued his love to them as long as he lived, and after his resurrection; he never took away his loving kindness. Though there were some persons of quality that espoused his cause, he did not lay aside his old friends, to make room for new ones, but still stuck to his poor fishermen. They were weak and defective in knowledge and grace, dull and forgetful; and yet, though he reproved them often, he never ceased to love them and take care of them.”
He has also stuck with this fisherman for the last forty eight years. He has called me, equipped me, trained me, commissioned me, anointed me, protected and provided for me through all these years. He has loved me through church insurrections, Katrina, near death with covid, Ida, and hundreds of circumstances I don’t have time or space to mention. He loves His own and He loves and carries them to the end.