…He loved them to the end.”
On this and every Father’s Day, I think a lot about my dad, who passed 16 years ago. He was a good father— not that he was perfect, but I always knew he loved me. As I write this, I also know how many sons and daughters cannot make such a statement, and/or have been wounded by their fathers in some way.
But know this, we have a Heavenly Father who loves us with a deep, abiding love that is beyond what any earthly father, as much as they may try, can offer. Know it is His name “Father” that speaks of the intimate relationship God desires with His children and how He delights in us. It actually brings Him joy to love us!
It was, after all, due to the Father’s love for us that He sent forth His only begotten Son to suffer and die (John 3:16). Love was His motive, which was shared by the Father and the Son… all for us!
In fact, John 13:1 speaks volumes as to Jesus’ personal love for His disciples. The verse, sometimes overlooked by the subsequent foot-washing scene, amazingly sets the tone for all that is to follow later that evening and the very next morning.
Some translations say “He loved them to the end.” Which may imply to the end of His life—which is not a correct interpretation.
The more precise translation means “to perfection”—He loved them with perfect love.
One commentary says, “He loved them to the uttermost degree of which He was capable.” In other words, He loved them to perfection. He loved them to the uttermost. He loved them with total fullness of love.
You get the idea; it is the consummate word.
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. John 13:34-35
Let us indeed respond to our Heavenly Father by loving Him back and being obedient to His new command to love one another. And take joy this Father’s Day by remembering, if you are a believer in Christ, our Heavenly Father loves you with the same intensity as His own Son. In His High Priestly prayer to the father: I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. John 17:23.
So this Father’s Day, dads and moms, sons and daughters: as you consider your Heavenly Father, may the source of your joy be this: He loves you with a perfect love!