Jesus’ Life: Chapter 17 – Jesus’ Last Supper Messages
Throughout the New Testament, we find many direct and indirect references to Jesus’ love for us. For instance, when an Expert in Jewish Law asked Jesus which is the greatest commandment He replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind”. (Matthew 22:38)
At the Last Supper, perhaps less than an hour away from his agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus returned to the subject of love. He said to his Apostles, “Just as the Father has loved me, I have also loved you; remain in my love. If you obey my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commandments and remain in his love”.
Jesus, having reminded the Apostles of his love for his Father, was asking them to likewise, love him thus keep his commandments; just as He had obeyed his Father, so also, they should obey him.
Despite Jesus’ imminent suffering, he spoke of joy, the joy they would receive from their perfect obedience to him saying, “No one has greater love than… [to lay] down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you”.
In the following weeks and years, each of the eleven Apostles offered their life to Jesus; all but John were martyred. Since then, two thousand years hence, thousands more have stepped into their shoes and happily, ‘laid down their life for their Friend’.
The same joy that Jesus spoke of to his Apostles is on offer to us if we surrender to his commandments. Our love for Jesus is tested daily. It’s in our actions and words or perhaps, lack of them! When we meet and interact with others, love ought to be our first and last thought. The distractions are many but the rewards of true love for Jesus are great. (John 15:9-17)
Pray for those who show indifference towards God.
Lord Jesus, guide me in new ways to improve my love for you. Inspire me through your Holy Spirit. Thank you, Jesus.
Prayer: Day by Day (St Richard of Chichester)
Praise be to Thee, O Lord Jesus Christ
For all the benefits you have given us,
for all the pains and insults which you have borne for us.
O most merciful Redeemer, Friend and Brother,
May, we see you more clearly,
Love you more dearly,
and follow You more nearly.
Day by day. Amen.