To the Very End
What is love?
When you hear the word love do you naturally think “Love Endures”? If you type in “Love” in Google images your search result may look like this:
If you do a Google search for Love, the top words that describe love are heart, family, caring, happiness, forever, happy, trust, passion. Often our first thought of love is something beautiful, happy, fun, etc… However, there’s an important aspect of love that many of us tend to overlook. Take a look at 1 Corinthians 13 – famously known for it’s verses on love – most often used at weddings. Have you really explored what kind of love described here looks like?
4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.1 Corinthians 13:4-6
Love Endures (1 Cor. 13:7)
Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.1 Corinthians 13:7
I just want to pause on that word endure for a bit. The Oxford dictionary defines endure as:
Suffer (something painful or difficult) patiently
Likewise, some synonyms of endure include: undergo, go through, live through, last, live, survive, persevere, persist
Those aren’t always the words you would use to describe love. If you think about it this way, it is easy to love in the pretty, “lovey dovey”, mushy feelings sort of way. The idea of love endures – implies suffering, trouble, hardship – not always easy to associate with some ideas of love. It takes far more effort to truly show your love to someone if you don’t like them, or if things are difficult – which is what God did for us. To begin to understand the capacity of God’s love for us we must learn how Christ endured.
Jesus’ Enduring Love
Let’s take a look at some examples from John chapter 13 of how Christ endured.
Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father. He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end.John 13:1
4 So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, 5 and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him.John 13:4-6
What’s the significance of this?
This is Jesus love in action. He humbled himself; he was willing to serve his disciples by washing their feet, even after…
1. Knowing that one of them was about to betray him (v 21)
Now Jesus was deeply troubled,and he exclaimed, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me!”John 13:21
2. Knowing another one will deny him (v. 38)
Jesus answered, “Die for me? I tell you the truth, Peter—before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.John 13:38
Truly Jesus displayed his enduring love – to the very end. He took time to serve others, and most importantly, he was willing to suffer for them, even for those who would betray him, deny him, or doubt him. Jesus “endured the cross, disregarding its shame…”(Hebrews 12:2b).
Jesus displayed enduring love to his followers that he extends to us as well. It doesn’t matter if you’ve betrayed him, denied him, or doubted him in the past – his act of love on that cross “covers a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8).