Love One Another

Scripture: John 13:34-35, ‘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.’

 

Observations: Three times Jesus says that we should ‘love one another.[1]’ The word ‘love’ in Greek is agapē, the sort of love that gives sacrificially, that puts others before themselves. Jesus says three things about this love we are meant to have for one another. Firstly, it is ‘a new command.’ It is not new in the sense that the Bible had never commanded us to love others. In fact, according to Jesus the greatest commandment is to love God, and the second is to love others. Rather it is new in the fact that it reflects the foundation of God’s new covenant community in Christ. The point is that we are to love ‘one another,’ our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Secondly, our love for one another is based on Jesus’ love for us. We are to love one another because Jesus has loved us, and we are to love one another like Jesus loved us. Jesus’ love for us displayed on the cross is both our motivation to love others and our model of how to love one another. Thirdly, our love for one another becomes our witness to the world that we are followers of Jesus. We prove that we belong to Jesus when we display the same sacrificial love for our brothers and sisters in Christ as Jesus did on the cross.

 

Application: Love for one another is one of the marks of the church. It is impossible to obey Jesus’ new commandment unless you are actively involved in the lives of others in a local church. It is your love for your brothers and sisters in Christ that proves that you love Jesus. Do you love your brothers and sisters in Christ? How are you showing that? What is one thing that you have done for someone else in the church in the last week that shows you care for them like Jesus cares for you? What could you do for someone in our church this week?

 

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, I thank You for Your love that was so great that You sent Your only Son, Jesus into our world in order to die for me. Lord, may Your love for me motivate my love for Your family here on earth. Lord, may I love my brothers and sisters at Westside like You love them. May I encourage them and comfort them and support them as You would. And may people see Your love in Jesus through my life. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


 

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[1] This is John’s favourite command of Jesus. Not only is he the only one who records Jesus commanding us to love one another, but he expounds on it in his letters, 6 times in his first letter (1 Jn 1:7; 3:11; 4:7,11,12) and once in his second letter (2 Jn 5). Paul quotes this same commandment in Romans 13:8, and so too does Peter in 1 Peter 1:22, where he adds that we ought to love one another deeply.

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