Verse 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
Yesterday we talked about what it really means to be in a loving relationship with God and we talked about how it is revealed in our lives through obedience. Today we start looking at another side of the love and obedience coin.
In today’s key verse Jesus lays out one of the hardest commands that we have to obey to show how abiding our love for the Father is. When Jesus says love each other in this passage He is talking to His disciples and therefore us as His current followers. Although He says in other places that we are to love our enemies the love He is talking about here is focused on those in the Church.
This is a place that we often struggle. Sometimes it is easier to love those outside the church than those we rub shoulders with every Sunday. We know we are supposed to love them but we don’t always agree with them and so it is just easier to live and let live. But Jesus is saying if we are to abide in Him we are to choose to love them. This intentional love that Christ is commanding that we share is not the just keeping the peace kind of love.
Jesus doesn’t end our key verse with loving each other, He took it to the extreme of loving each other as He loves us. Of course there is no way we can love each other to the level that Jesus did but that is not an excuse to not even try. We are not to be looking for the easy way out of obedience. In fact to be looking for a way out of obeying Him is really a mark of our lacking love for Him.
The world likes to say that we can’t love each other until we first love ourselves, but that is a lie of the world. The truth is that we can’t love others if we aren’t first loving God. It is only through loving Him that we can love each other for He is the author of love and the supreme example of it.
These next couple of weeks as we look at the varying ways we should show love to each other in the Church, take some time and ask God who is in your Church family that you need to be intentional about being loving to and ask for God’s help to obey Him in loving the family of God.
Making It Personal
Who in the church do you struggle to love? In what ways have you failed to love God by not obeying the command to love this person? What does God want you to change in your relationship with others in the church?
Making It Personal Kids
Why does showing other people we love them, show we love Jesus? What are some ways that we show love to others? Does this make Jesus happy to see us love other people?
Father, thank You for loving us. Teach us to love as You want us to love. May our love for each other bring You glory. In Jesus’ name, amen.