John 13:1 (NIV)
It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for Him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved His own who were in the world, He now showed them the full extent of His love.
The emphasis of John’s account of the Last Supper is on Jesus’ personal love for His disciples. “The significance is not that He loved them to the last of His life, but that He loved them to the uttermost degree of which He was capable.” Christ wanted to press into their hearts the importance of love as the motivation behind service. Our best and highest expressions of love for one another cannot compare to God’s love toward us. In order to love others well we must receive His love for us and grow in our understanding of it (Eph. 3:18). Build into the rhythm of your life the discipline of reading great books that unpack God’s love (Brennan Manning’s books are excellent: Abba’s Child or The Furious Longing of God). It will deepen your understanding of Christ-centered ministry and the motivation behind it.