“Mom, I love you Four hundred-million-thousand!” My oldest son did this numbers game when he was younger. He tried to come up with the largest numbers his brain could imagine to describe the height, depth, breadth of his love for mom. (When asked about love for Dad, it was usually just a plain 100 or so. But I’m not bitter). Finally, one day he gave up trying to come up with larger and larger numbers and just proclaimed, “Mom, I love you to the very end!”
That reminded me of the Holy Week story in John 13. The Bible says about Jesus, “He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end” John 13:1 NLT. So what did He do? He “wrapped a towel around his waste, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet…” John 13:4-5 NLT.
This was just the beginning of a 24-36 hour period of loving them to the end that culminated with his brutal bloody death on the cross. How did Jesus demonstrate how to love to the end? Deep humility and serving others with no boundaries. Jesus’ love said, “I’ll do whatever it takes, without limitation or hesitation, because of my love for you.”
“Yea, that’s Jesus. He’s awesome!” Yes He is, but Jesus called us to this same kind of life. What!
“since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.”
Philippians 2:5-8 ups the stakes even more:
“You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
Though he was God,
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
he took the humble position of a slave
and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,
he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.”
God desires for us to live with an attitude of “I’ll do whatever it takes” in our relationships with Him and others. Letting go of perks, privileges, social norms, entitlements, and appearances. The opposite is to draw the line. “I’ll not go that far.” Jesus erased his line for us, and calls us to do the same.
Some questions I’m reflecting on:
- Where do I draw the line when it comes to humility, transparency, and serving others? Why?
- Do I allow real or imagined perks, privileges, social norms get in the way of loving people?
- Can I say my attitude toward others is Christ-like with this standard?
- Does my love for God and others have limitations? or is it to the very end?