“. . . 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” (13:1). Jesus' love for us is constant and never ending! Dane Ortlund, in Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers, quotes John Bunyan: “Love in Christ decays not nor can be tempted so to do by anything that happens, or that shall happen hereafter, in the object so loved.” Ortlund continues to write that “the heart of Christ for sinners and sufferers does not flash with tenderness occasionally or temporarily, sputtering out over time. Gentleness and lowliness of heart is who Christ is steadily, consistently, everlastingly, when all loveliness in us has withered.”
Regarding John 13:1, Ortlund notes, “Jesus came to the cliff of the cross and didn’t change his mind. He walked over the edge. . . . in going to the cross, Jesus did not retain something for himself, the way we tend to do when we seek to love others sacrificially He does not love like [we do]. We love until we are betrayed. Jesus continued to the cross despite betrayal. We love until we are forsaken. Jesus loved through forsakenness. We love up to a limit. Jesus loves to the end.”
O the deep, deep love of Jesus!
Vast, unmeasured, boundless, free,
rolling as a mighty ocean
in its fullness over me.
Underneath me, all around me,
is the current of thy love;
leading onward, leading homeward,
to thy glorious rest above. –S. Trevor Francis (1873)