“Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.”John 13:34–35
Even in his last few days, Jesus reminded his disciples how much he loved them. Jesus’s love for his disciples was different than any love they had ever experienced before. The disciples might not have caught that prior to Jesus’s death; however, they quickly realized it upon Jesus’s resurrection. For many of us, we know God loves us, yet sometimes we have doubts. It seems as though God’s love isn’t tangible. We can’t demonstrate our love for God like we do with those we love most. Think about how you show love and affection to those closest to you. You hug and kiss them. You look them in the face and talk. While we know God loves us and he demonstrates his love to us, we’ve never been face-to-face with God. We’ve never hugged or kissed God. The disciples, however, tangibly experienced the love of God through Jesus. Jesus was God-in-flesh. He walked with them, talked with them, and demonstrated his love for them. Ultimately Jesus demonstrated his love for his disciples in the most profound way—by dying on the cross.
The point for Jesus, however, was not just that he loved his disciples. Because Jesus loved his disciples, the disciples were to love another. In fact, Jesus even said, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). The disciples would not be known to be Jesus’s disciples by how much they knew or even by how much time they spent with Jesus. They would be known by how they love one another. What about you? God has demonstrated his love to you through his Son Jesus. Do people know you follow Jesus by the love you have for other Christians? As Lent is coming to an end and we approach Easter, are you loving one another? Yes, we must love those far from Christ, but why would anyone far from Christ want Jesus when his followers can’t stand one another? When we love one another, we demonstrate the love of God to our world, and perhaps God will use our love for one another as the means for others to come to know him.
- What does it mean for Jesus to love you?
- What does it mean for you to love others?
- Who is someone in your life right now, particularly a Christian, who you are having a hard time loving? Pray for them and ask the Lord to strengthen your love for them.