“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”(John 13:34 – 35)
How can one tell is someone is a fan of a particular sports team? Perhaps is one wears a team’s clothing, jersey, hat, etc…. However if I put on a NY Yankee jersey does that mean that I am on the NY Yankees? Of course not! How then can one know if one is a disciple of Christ? Well one way to know Jesus said is that His disciples would have love one to another. This sounds very quaint, loving, caring, and mushy. Love as many have said is perhaps the most abused word in language. Jesus spoke to His disciples and gave them a new commandment, and that was to love one another as Jesus had loved them. Many feel that the love Jesus was speaking of here, is the demonstration of love that Jesus had shown them up to this point He was speaking to them. Jesus had shown them love, but He did not display His greatest act of love at the time He was instructing them to love on another. That display would be shown at the cross. Jesus would die for His twelve and for the whole world. This was the love that He was commanding them to love one another with. He said a new command, not a new idea, suggestion, or option I give you, but a new command. Jesus further said, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” Jesus was calling them to lay their lives down for one another. What is the reason that Jesus wanted His disciples to love one another as He had loved them?
1. Christ’s Love is pure. John wrote, “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” God is the source of love, and He lavishes that love upon His children as a mother lavishes love upon her child. His pure love, not love as the world gives, needed to be in their hearts if they were going to be Christ-like.
2. Christ’s Love is demonstrative. The world sits in condemnation and judgment. The world is guilty of breaking God’s Law, they love darkness and hate the light. Jesus said that when His disciples shine their love toward one another, that the world would see it and know who Christ’s disciples are. The world can only see this kind of love if Christians step out of the four walls of the church building and live it out among all men. Many non-Christians have seen televangelists manipulate people for their money. Christ didn’t die in a church, He died in plain view of the people, in the sight of all men. Oh that we would die to ourselves that He would live in us, and we would be His feet and hands extended. I laugh when people say I love God, it’s the church I have a problem with. That is like saying I love you but I hate your husband or wife. Husbands and wives are one, and so is Christ and His body. His body must love one another, the church needs that love to flourish, and the world needs to see it as a living tangible witness.
3. Christ’s Love is evidential evidence. Jesus said “…by this all men will know that you are my disciples….” When you live his love out loud, it shows that Jesus is real. Why would you go out of your way to help, give, bless, provide, even sacrifice for another brother or sister in Christ, because Christ is real. Why would you display the fruit of the spirit, bless those who persecute you, love your enemies? Practical Christian lives points to the reality that Christ is real, and the Savior of the world. Demonstrate His pure love today as evidence that Jesus is Savior, Lord, and soon and coming King!
Until the nets are filled…Blessings, Pastor Phil <><