“As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” – Jesus
Do you often find yourself confused as a Christian about what to do or not do? What to live your life by? What following Jesus looks like? What the rules are? You don’t have to anymore. Just ask yourself, “what does love require me to do?” or “If I loved that person what would I do?”
Can you imagine a world where we get this one thing right? A world where those who don’t believe . . .
- hope their son or daughter marries a believer because of how well we treat our spouses
- want a job working for a Jesus follower because of how we treat our employees
- want us for friends because of how good we are to each other
- think we believe some crazy things but still feel drawn to it
We (Church) have managed to make our faith very complicated, both for us and those we might hope to persuade; that’s a shame.
During Jesus’ last supper with his disciples before his crucifixion he dropped this on them.
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13
- If we obey this command all is well. God is pleased. We feel peace. The world knows we are His.
- Each of the men in the room could remember how he had loved them, invited them to follow him regardless of their past, kept being their friend even when they weren’t good friends to him. All of them would truly see what He meant the next day.
- This is how the world can see we are His, and be drawn to Him. Feel free to let your imagination run wild with all the things He did NOT say we would be known by: church attendance, sunday clothes, etc.
- Jesus had previously summed up the whole Old Covenant into two commands; now he introduced his New command, not in addition but in replacement.
It’s so simple, yet so demanding. I think that’s why we’ve complicated it, so we can find loopholes. That’s the problem with Jesus’ new command: there’s no wiggle room between the rules. I look at the person in front of me, and Jesus commands me to lay my life down for him/her. I want to rationalize my way out of pulling over to help, listening to the long story, dealing with conflicting personalities, giving money I sweated for. My self doesn’t want to do any of that. Following Jesus means telling myself no and choosing to love the person in front of me.
Also, we often pass on loving others and instead pray or at least say we will pray. More on that soon.
This command is why the early Church exploded with growth and took over an empire determined to kill it when it should have died. This command changed the world back then and even affects our lives today. It could change the world again.
There are two things I ask of you today if this resonates:
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Begin asking yourself each day, “What does love require of me?”