“A new command 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.”
Jesus reveals that one of the Twelve will betray Him. He hands the bread to Judas and tells him to do quickly what he is planning to do.
Jesus goes on to tell the disciples that He will shortly leave them. Peter asks Him where He is going, but Jesus tells him he cannot follow Him there. Peter says, “I will lay down my life for you,” but Jesus warns him that Peter will disown Jesus that very night.
The new commandment, the new ethic for the christian community is to love one another in the same way that Jesus loves us.
That’s easy- love God and love people.
We make christianity so complicated at times. This church believes different things about the Holy Spirit than we do. Those people worship differently.
If they are Jesus followers we have to love them sacrificially. We can agree to disagree on some issues, but never let those things become a barrier to love.
Jesus goes on to say that by our love, all people will see that we are His disciples. It is said that the reason that the church became dominant across the Roman Empire after only a few generations is that they loved one another, cared for their widows and the sick, and rescued abandoned babies.
They literally loved the Empire into faith.
In a hostile, unbelieving culture, the church needs to rediscover real love- the love of Christ for His people. This is not Government- funded programs, but one- on- one love that shows the world what Jesus really looks like.
Lord Jesus, you command us to love one another. Please fill my heart with your love so that I can give it to others. Amen.