January 15, 2023 · Bob Gass
“Having loved His own…He loved them to the end.” John 13:1 NKJV
We handle our relationship problems in one of three ways: flee, fight, or forgive. Some choose to flee. They leave the relationship and start again elsewhere, though they are frequently surprised when the condition resurfaces on the other side of the fence as well. Others fight. As a result, their relationships become combat zones, and stress becomes a way of life. If you’re wise, you will choose the way of Christ: “Having loved His own…He loved them to the end.” Jesus knew the feeling of being stuck with someone. For over three years, He ran with the same team. He saw the same twelve or so faces around the table. So how did He stay so dedicated to His disciples? Was it difficult for Jesus to love Peter, knowing he would someday curse Him? Was it tough to trust Thomas, knowing he would someday question His resurrection? How did Jesus resist the urge to recruit a new group of followers? John wanted to crush one enemy, and Peter sliced off the ear of another. Only days before Jesus’ death, His disciples were fighting about which of them was the best! How was He able to love people who were difficult to like? Here is the answer: Jesus didn’t measure them by their looks, IQ, talent, possessions, or personality; no, He measured them by their potential. And ultimately, they changed and lived up to His expectations. Not in all things or at all times. But when that happened, He forgave them and taught them that love is a commitment we make first to ourselves, and then to others.
Bible in a year: Job 40-42