33 Dear children, I will be with you only a little longer….34 So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. 35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.
Jesus Not only gave us a new and necessary command when He said “Love each other” but He revealed Love’s:
He didn’t just say “Love each other” He also said “just as I have loved you.” Jesus is the source of our love and it is on the basis of His love for us that we are enabled and empowered to love one another. If we want to minister in love we must first be mastered by Love. All too often we fail in our efforts to love others because we have strayed from the foundation of love. We try to love others in our own strength with our own love and so we fail. The truth is that before we can overcome in love we must be overcome by Love. We must know the Father’s love and be convinced of His love for us. Do you see yourselves as accepted and loved by God just the way you are? Have you accepted His love and allow it to wash over you’re your life in such a way that you are completely baptized by His love operating under the principle of “As I have loved you?” When we acknowledge and surrender to Christ as our source of love then we will be able to carry out His command of love. Is it time for you to take a swim in the source of love before you sink?
Jesus reveals the measure and the extent to which this love is to be manifest, “As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” The way we are to love one another is to the same degree that Christ loved us and to what extent did Jesus demonstrate His love? As the evening meal was being served, Jesus silently rose from the table and assumed the role of a servant. Jesus poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, demonstrating His love through acts of servant hood. Yet His ultimate display of love was as a sacrifice for our sins on the cross. The measure to which we are to love each other is in the same measure to which Jesus has loved us. We must love in service and sacrifice, “As I have loved you.” Serving others in love is practical not sentimental, we are not called to talk out love but to walk out love. Love is action in motion where we lose ourselves in the service of others. That requires stepping out of our comfort zones and becoming vulnerable. The sacrifice of love means that it’s going to cost us something to love others, time, money, comfort, reputation, hurt. Yes love hurts because when we love we open ourselves up to rejection, misunderstanding, even abuse and our love is often not appreciated or reciprocated. That is why our love must be His love and we cannot love others without first offering ourselves to the one we love. The cross reveals an unmistakable portrait of His love, unconditional, limitless, and sacrificial. But the greatest sacrifice of love is the sacrifice to self, a love that the world and the flesh cannot comprehend. Our western culture with its postmodern mentality stands in opposition to and has perverted the message of self-sacrificing love. Today we are obsessed with self, our message is gratify your own desires, follow your own heart. Yet the message of the cross is serve and sacrifice, love as I have loved you. Which message are you listening to and what love is influencing your life, self or the Savior?
Jesus concludes by reminding us of the result of His love lived through us “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples”. The result of Christians loving one another is that the Church becomes the greatest witness to the world, without ever saying a word. The reality is that the world is watching and we are on trial. People are looking to see if Christianity is for real and the evidence they are weighing in the balances is our lives, our conduct more that our words. Do your actions portray to the world how deeply you truly love? What in your life would cause them to say, “See how they love one another!?” “See how ready they are willing to die for one another!” We are called to not only receive His love but to respond and reflect His love with those that God places in our lives. Who will you share His love with today?