Meatloaf sang the popular song, “I would do anything for love, but I won’t do that” which became an instant classic when Dr. Pepper picked it up for their commercial a few years ago. The commercial pictures a young man who would do anything for his girlfriend including the purchasing of her feminine products, the folding of her laundry and accompanying her to Yoga class and on shopping trips. But when it came to giving up the thing he loved most, his 12 oz. can of cold Dr. Pepper, he chose to draw the line there and break off the relationship. She just wasn’t worth it.
At the beginning of the events of the Passion week of Jesus Christ, the Gospel-writer John gives Jesus’ purpose statement:
Now before the Feast of the Passover, 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. John 13:1ff
John’s gospel deliberately omits many things which he knew were covered by Matthew and Mark but here in the scene of the foot-washing of the disciples as in other places he explains a narrative which was left out by the others, one which clearly had a deep impact on him. John saw this foot-washing not just as an example of servanthood, but a gesture of the deep love and affection that Jesus had for His own. This was the beginning of an extended weekend where Jesus would give many visible signs of His firm, lasting love that would never be quenched not even by death. John understood that the totality of the humiliation of the Son of God from his conception to taking the form of a servant in the foot-washing to His suffering, death and burial was all motivated by tender love.
We ought also to fix our hearts on this conviction for he bears the same tender affection for us.
Jesus’ love motive is in full operation in the foot-washing, which is an integral moment with the whole of His Life of Humiliation which began in His conception and ended in His death, burial and descending before His exaltation in resurrection, ascension and the sitting at the right hand of the Father. The purpose of all of this was to merit salvation for His people. Jesus refused to draw the line of the extent of His love for us. A love that extended from the washing of our dirt all the way to his suffering and death. Jesus says to all who believe and trust in Him, “You’re worth it! I would do anything for love, even that!”