When Christ discloses that he loved his own to the end in John 13:1, we must understand that was neither easy nor desirable based on the qualities of the objects of his love. The Apostle Paul makes this very point in Rom. 5:6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
That exultation must flow out of the realization Christ did not come to identify good people to save. Accordingly, Jesus makes the analogy that just as physically healthy people do not have great need for a doctor, those who believe they are spiritually healthy have no need for a spiritual physician, especially one who would have to die in place of his patients in order to give them life. That’s an absurd notion to someone who does not think they are terminally ill, but the Bible is clear—the wages of sin is death and that all mankind is born dead in sin and children of wrath by nature. This is why Christ says that he came for the sick and the unrighteous and this love flowing to the unworthy is the essence of understanding the love of Christ.
In fact, the Greek word used for God’s love, agape, has, embedded in its definition, an expression of kindness irrespective of the worthiness of its object. This is why the Apostle John writes the following in his 1st epistle—1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
This understanding is how we are to maintain the proper exaltation for the gracious love of God. It is not reactive due to something in us or something we did, but proactive due to something in God.
Consequently, one simply cannot uphold the limitless value of Christ and his work, while seeking to increase the innate value and goodness of mankind, for that would diminish the grace of God.
So His perfect love was graciously granted because of the unworthiness of who he saves.