John 13:1 : Now before the feast of the Passover, Jesus, knowing that his time 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.
We read here that Jesus was aware that this was it. He would be leaving the world soon. It was what John says next that I find so expressive of the way he felt about Jesus.
John was very sensitive to the love of Jesus and he reports this first-hand. Jesus loved his own, of which John was one. John knew that even though all of the disciples were very poor friends of Jesus. He never stopped loving them. I think it is important to note another thing here.
Sometimes I have struggled with how Jesus was always doing what His father wanted. It made me wonder at times whether Jesus really wanted to love us or if He was just doing it because His Father told Him to do it. Today’s verse shows how wrong that thought was. God told Jesus to love us, not to do loving actions to us. For some reason it has always been easy for me to forget that what God wants is our hearts. Jesus’ heart was in it and He really “loved His own who were in the world.”
That’s the kind of pattern God wants us to follow. God doesn’t want Christians to act out being good on the outside. God expects that we be good on the inside. He knows that what is on the inside will come out as we trust Him.
Have you ever noticed that it is impossible to love with only will power? We can’t just say, “I think I’m going to love now…” In fact, we can plan to do something, try hard to make it happen, and end up doing the exact opposite! The only way we can love is if God produces it in us. This illustrates an important Christian principle. When God tells us to do something, He also gives us the power to do it. Doing what God wants and having His power to do it, is one of the happiest things in this life. To know what God wants is to know what your Creator made you for, and to do what you were made for, is the happiest place for you. God shows us many thing in general that we are to do in the Bible. The specifics come from the desires He places in you. There is more about this in the book of Romans.