“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this, everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” – John 13:34-35
Much love is needed in this world of tears and woe. We in the Christian church have it to give. Love will bring down barriers. It will conquer foes. Let your life be a blessing to the people around you.
In the above text, Jesus commanded his disciples to love one another. This command also includes us in the Christian church today.
Love is important to Christians because love is the nature of God. John tells us: “God is love.”
Even though we humans have written numerous poems and songs about love, it is a most difficult trait for us to adopt. Unfortunately, when it comes to loving others, we still find ourselves in a hard place.
This is so because there are many people out there who are unlovable. They cause you much grief in your personal life, in the workplace, and in the community.
You probably know people who are so miserable, they don’t deserve love. In many instances, they are family members who probably don’t deserve your love.
Jesus wants you to love a person who has caused you great pain and disappointment. But how can you love a person who has abused your trust? How can you love people whose life is so messed up they will drag you down to their level, in the gutter? Yes, this is very difficult.
Jesus gave this command because there are so many of us who think that love should go to those who deserve it. That is why our Lord did not suggest that we love one another. He commanded it.
The hymn writer said, “People will know that we are Christians by our love.” When we have the love of Christ in us, we don’t even need to speak words to bring others to faith. They will see it in the way we live.
We all want to be loved, but the sharing of that love we so crave is difficult. There are people you know who are unpleasant in their words and actions. Even though you try to love them, you can’t.
During his life here on Earth, Jesus displayed more love than all the people who ever lived upon this Earth put together. His whole life was love. Even when the people rejected and persecuted him, he still displayed compassion and love.
As he hung on the cross, paying the price for humanity’s sins, the people who observed, hurled insults at him. Yet, amidst all of this hate, he displayed love for them.
When he should have sought revenge, he cried, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they are doing.” In the midst of the persecution, hate and scorn, he had compassion and displayed love.
Jesus’ words are as prevalent today as they were over 2,000 years ago, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this, all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
In these words, he is saying, “Those of you who are my disciples, love one another. All of you who believe in me, love one another. You who follow me, love one another. All of you who are in my church, love one another.” Amen.
• Reverend Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at the Lutheran Church of Nassau, 119 John F. Kennedy Dr can be reached at P.O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bahamas; or telephone 426-9084; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: www.nassaulutheranchurch.org.