Love is such a popular concept. A quick type of love into YouTube gives about 192,000,000 results! A Google of love gives about 7,530,000,000 results. But I wonder what people mean when they speak of love. Is it a mushy sentiment? A feel-good feeling? Something like this?
Or a sacrificial act?
Because Jesus asks us to love in the way he does.
The New Command
31 After Judas had gone, Jesus said:
Now the Son of Man will be given glory, and he will bring glory to God. 32 Then, after God is given glory because of him, God will bring glory to him, and God will do it very soon.
33 My children, I will be with you for a little while longer. Then you will look for me, but you won’t find me. I tell you just as I told the people, “You cannot go where I am going.” 34 But I am giving you a new command. You must love each other, just as I have loved you. 35 If you love each other, everyone will know that you are my disciples.
Do you notice how Jesus gives this command after Judas has gone? Jesus has washed his disciples feet, showing them what true love looks like; he knows what is about to happen, because he tells them; he knows they are not going with him – so they are left behind. They will be the ones to carry the message on. How are they to do it? By loving one another. Their love for each other should be such that everyone will know that they are disciples of Jesus – people living his way.
Jesus makes it quite clear loving is our responsibility. We are called to love whether someone loves us first, or back. Our loving someone may be what they need. If they don’t act in lovely ways, do they need our love to help them?
But of course, when Jesus said this he didn’t know Mrs X, or young Y, or that Z. He didn’t know how they behaved – honestly that’s just not how we do things…
But actually Jesus does know them. As he knew Judas the traitor, the impetuous Peter, James and John the power seekers – oh and me.
Yet his command is still to love.
Because love is what can make a difference. It makes a difference when we are loved – and when we do the loving.
may I love
as you do,
in your power,
in your name