Week Three - Day Two
What is agape Love?
John 13:1-16 - Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon‘s son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples‘ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean.
When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another‘s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.
God loves us with agape love (Rom 8:39). Agape love is a deep, constant, and unchanging interest and affection directed towards an unworthy object. The Bible does not say that God has love but that he is love (1 John 4:8). Not only does God provide for every physical need, but he has also made a way for every spiritual need to be met. God’s perfect expression of love on Earth was in the Lord Jesus Christ. In order for Jesus to display this agape love, it required every thought, motive, and action to be in line with God’s desires. Ultimately, this led to Jesus’ death on the cross where he perfectly displayed God’s love and mercy. He is the example of what love is and what love does. In John 13, Jesus shows what love does. Before he is crucified, he meets with his twelve closest friends for their last meal together and completes this bizarre act of love by washing their feet. He then commands them to be like him and do the same to others. This personal experience was a teaching moment for these men. Jesus was able to command them knowing he was their teacher and Lord (v. 13). They were “his own” (v. 1).
Charles Spurgeon points out that the word “own,” as used in this passage, refers to people. This is an important distinction from other uses such as John 1:11 “He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.” Here, the word “own” means “things.” Charles Spurgeon discusses the difference: “Now, a man may part with his own things; he may sell his own house, or cattle, or merchandise; he may give away his own money; but, a man cannot part with his own when it relates to persons; he cannot part with his own child, his own wife, his own father, or his own brother. We hold indisputable property in our own relatives; this is real property with an emphasis, our own freehold, our entail, our perpetual possession. The Lord Jesus has just such a property in his own people - they are his brethren, forever near of kin to him.”3 His disciples were his people. And so are we. We are given to him by his Father; he purchased us and paid for us with his life and blood. We cost him everything. We are his very own.
• What does it mean that you are “his own”?
• Does it change your heart toward him to know his heart toward you?
• Does his ownership of you and his compassionate love for you change how you obey his commands?
• Record your responses in your journal or note taking app and share them with someone in your Discipleship Group or family.