It is difficult for many people to grasp God’s love for them because they start in the wrong place, that is, in themselves. In other words, they question how God could really love them since they do not deserve His love. What can liberate such people is the realization that God’s love for them does not begin with them, but with Him. He loves us because it is His nature and character to love us.
Such understanding will help us appreciate the affection Christ had for the disciples in the passage under consideration, and by extension, for the entire human race. Our Lord protected the disciples even when His own life was in serious jeopardy. “Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end” (John 13:1).
From Matthew’s account of what happened at the garden, the disciples had just disappointed the Lord’s expectation when He found them sleeping whereas they were expected to be watching and praying. Yet, He was there at the time when it mattered most, to secure them against the external aggression that could have swallowed them.
Besides, Christ died and made Himself a ransom for the sins of the world. In other words, because of His love for us, we have every reason to be filled with hope to feel secure, to expect His help and blessings, to enjoy salvation and abundant life, to live a life of love, to become more like Him, to live a life of victory over sin and evil, to enjoy His presence and be filled with joy and encouragement. To remain in sin is therefore to deny ourselves of His care and affection.
Thought for the day: A true friend loves at all times.