"A new command I give you: Love one another as I have loved you ... Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. I no longer call you servants ... Instead, I have called you friends. John 13:34, 15:13,15
Jesus was always my favorite big brother, ever since I can remember. He was about 13 when I was born. They named me Elizabeth, after one of my great aunts, but everyone calls me Beth. Mother says that Jesus was the one who really took care of me, even when I was a baby. I guess that's why I've always loved Him so fiercely. I was his Beth; and He was--well--He was my Jesus.
As a child I was His shadow. I worshipped Him in my own way. He always had time to tell me a story or sing me a song and give me one of His special hugs. He's just that way, always putting others before Himself. As I grew older, I was forever running to father's shop to visit Him. Sitting among the woodshavings, we would talk of high and noble things.
Mostly we talked of Jehovah. Jesus seemed to know so much about Him, not only because He had been taught from the Scriptures, but because He spent so much time with Him. He loved to be in the hills at sunrise and dusk, to talk with Him or observe His handiwork. He learned so much in those hills!
He used to say, "All of creation depends on Jehovah for existence. To the flowers He gives sun and rain; to the creatures He gives food and drink. To us," He would turn and smile, "To us, little Beth, He gives something far richer and deeper and more wonderful than life itself. He gives us love. First we use that love to honor and worship Him. Then, wrapped in His glory, we can use it to make the world a better place. It's the kind of love that enables one to even lay down his life for another ..." His voice would trail off and He would suddenly be far, far away. Then He would say, "Greater love has no man."
Years passed, and though He remained my thoughtful, loving Jesus--He was something more. In His face I saw a strength and wisdom beyond His years. He began spending more time in the hills. He and Jehovah drew closer, so close that ... well I can't really explain it and I never really understood it; that is, until today.
When Jesus came out of the water this morning, I saw Him kneel and watched the heavens open. I saw the dovelike form. I saw the glorious light in Jesus' face. And I heard the voice say, "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased." (Matt. 3:17 KJV) At last I knew who Jesus really was.
The Baptist said, "Behold, the Lamb ..." (John 1:29 KJV) Those are strange words, since lambs are used for sacrifice. What was it Jesus used to say--"Greater love has no man than this...?"
written by Pamela S. Coburn, from Masterpieces, copyright © 1988 Reflections, used by permission.
Lesson 3 - Conclusion
Copyright © 1995, Lee Venden and Thure Martinsen