Our Maundy Thursday gospel reading opened with this verse from John 13. “Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.”
The Greek word translated here as “end” is telos. Telos is not a measure of time, but a measure of completeness. The word means absolute completeness. Jesus loves us to absolute completeness. Tonight, many of us took part in worship services that included foot washing or hand washing. I don’t know about you, but my feet are not my best part. They look like an old man’s feet. Kind of gnarly, bent, with toe nails that seem to go every which way. But even my ugly feet are precious to Jesus. I dare say, even your ugly feet are precious to Jesus. Because Jesus’ love is complete.
My favorite definition of grace has always been that Jesus knows me and loves me. It is one thing to love the me that I present to the world. It is completely another thing to actually know the me that I hide from the world, perhaps that I even hide from myself. The me that only my wife really knows and sees. Yet grace means that Jesus knows that part of me, Jesus knows all of me, and still, Jesus loves me. Because Jesus’ love is complete.
That is a love in which we can rest. That is a love in which we can abide. That is a love upon which we can build our lives. Set your foundation on Jesus’ love and your life will be strong, the storms of life shall not shake you. Because your life is built on Jesus’ love, and Jesus’ love is complete.
As we enter these wholly holy three days, know that you are loved, loved to the end. Loved completely, fully, unreservedly, unconditionally, by a God who lived, and who died, for you.
You are loved!