Jesus calls all of His disciples to love one another just as He loved them. Thus, a very pertinent question is how did our Savior love His disciples while on earth? The adapted quote below from Matthew Henry takes this command of Jesus out of the realm of mere sentimentality and speaks of this command in such a challenging, practical, and helpful way.
- He spoke kindly to them.
- He concerned himself diligently for them, and for their welfare,
- He instructed, counseled, and comforted them,
- He prayed with and for them,
- He vindicated them when they were accused,
- He took their part when they were run down,
- He publicly owned them to be dearer to him that his mother, or sister, or brothers.
- He reproved them for what was amiss,
- Yet he compassionately bore with their failings,
- He believed the best about them,
- He passed by many an oversight.
- Thus he had loved them, and just now had washed their feet;
- And thus they must love one another, and love to the end.
BUT the special instance of love for us which he was now about to give was when He laid down his life for us on Calvary’s cross. Friends, we must all honestly admit that we cannot love one another in the way and manner that Jesus loved us. BUT, His Holy Spirit comes to empower us to do that which is humanly impossible… to love one another truly, sacrificially, and unconditionally by faith.
– Adapted from Matthew Henry