Having loved his own who were in the world, he [Jesus] now showed them the full extent of his love. John 13:1 (NIV 1984)
Dear Lord Jesus, I often return to the scene from which this verse is taken, for it’s homeroom for my heart—the place I go to settle and center my restless soul. It’s the night of your betrayal—the night you would be denied and abandoned, not just by Peter, but also by every disciple. You knew the full extent of their weakness, so you showed them the full extent of your love. Washing their feet was a prelude to washing their hearts. Water sufficed for the first, your lifeblood was required for the second.
This is how you love each of us, Jesus—how you love me. Absolutely nothing can separate us from your love, or impact the way you love us. You don’t love us more when we “get it right”, and you don’t love us less when we fail you. That doesn’t mean you’re indifferent; it means you’re our Savior, the one who remains committed to showing us the full extent of your love—how wide, long, high and deep it really is (Eph. 3:18-19).
Only your love, Jesus, can free and change me. Only your love is better than life. Only your love is enough. In my most gospel-sane moments, I know this to be true—my truest truth. Nobody or nothing has to change for me to be at peace and joyful. Continue to rescue me from thinking otherwise. Forgive me for plugging my happy-meter into what people think of me, or how easy or difficult life is, or how much or how little money I have, or how in control or not I am of my circumstances, or anything beyond you.
Jesus, you are my loving Master, not my private masseur. Forgive me when I forget the first and start demanding the second. By the gospel keep washing me, Jesus—bathe me in grace every hour of every day. You are already my perfect righteousness; I long for the Day when I will be made perfect in love (1 John 3:1-3). So very Amen I pray, in your merciful and mighty name.