(Enjoy this special devotion written by a member of our community, Steven Alwine!)

Even when he was hanging from a cross, Jesus wasn’t thinking of himself.

He saw his disciple, his friend, John. Jesus knew what John needed was a chance to express the love he had learned about. Love without expectation of gain. Jesus had been showing John all along what that looked like, and it was time for John to learn to show it himself.

Jesus, the head of His household, while hanging from a tree, commissioned John to care for a widow, whose eldest son was about to die and whose other son was in hiding.

Read James 1:27 aloud.

Jesus gave John a chance to understand what it feels like to serve someone who has no expectation or way to repay him. And not only serve but hold as close as any family. Jesus severs the last of his familial ties to this world, and gives John the charge, to hold a widow as close as his mother.

Read John 21:15-18 silently.

Jesus gives John, and only John, the charge of caring for His mother, with no expectation of reward. After His resurrection, He tells Peter to care for His sheep. Some sheep may yet provide a return on investment, but that is not why we care for them.

Christ commands us to love without the expectation of reward or benefit.

Instead, we show the love of Christ to those who cannot repay, just as Christ showed His love to us.

You see, by loving others as He loves them, we become more like Him.