Love One Another

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Question: What is harder to do – to love or to hate? Who is easier to love – your loved ones or your enemies? What is new about the commandment to Love One Another? Love – the four letter word that is overused, over-rated, much talked about and least practiced!

In John 13, after Jesus washed the feet of his disciples, he told them:
“Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. If you KNOW these things, you are blessed if you DO them.”

If I know these things: things on washing other’s feet, things on being humble to serve others, I am blessed if I do them. To know is to do. It is not knowledge in the head but most of all actions from the heart.

“I do not speak of all of you. I know the ones I have chosen; but it is that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He who eats My bread has lifted up his heel against Me.”

Jesus spoke these words to all his 12 disciples yet he said he’s not speaking to all. He’s speaking to all but one. Who’s the one? The one whose feet he also washed, the one who eats His bread, the one who ate bread with Jesus (John 13:26-27) – this one lifted up his heel against Jesus.

After Jesus taught them to wash one another’s feet, Jesus told them that one of them would betray him (13:21). They were all at a loss wondering who it was that Jesus referred. When Peter asked Jesus to tell them, Jesus plainly said: “That is the one for whom I shall dip the morsel and give it to him.So when He had dipped the morsel, He *took and *gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. After the morsel, Satan then entered into him. Therefore Jesus *said to him, “What you do, do quickly.”

The disciples got distracted with the last sentence: What is it that Jesus told Judas to do quickly? They thought Judas being the treasurer was told to buy food for the passover feast or to give money to the poor. They forgot about the person who would betray Jesus. Judas went out right away after Jesus said the words. He did not even wonder or think twice – that Jesus told him exactly what he wanted to do – and do it quickly too!

How Jesus must have grieved – that the feet he had just washed walked away to betray him! So what did say to the remaining 11 disciples?

“Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in Him; 32 if God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and will glorify Him immediately. 33 Little children, I am with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’

Jesus knew the time has come for him to go the way of the cross. He told his disciples that He would with them for a short while only. He would be going where they could not go. On this sad note, Jesus repeated to them the important lesson of loving one another.

The book of John is a love story – the story of how God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son so whoever believes in Jesus will have eternal life. John wrote so many times of how Jesus loved his disciples, of how Jesus told them, taught and modelled to them how to love one another.

John 15:13
Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.

Today love is often an overrated concept and under-achieved practice. Many know the two greatest commandments – Love God with all our heart, mind and soul. Love our neighbours as ourselves. Yet knowing and doing seem to be two different things. Sometimes it is even difficult to love our family and friends. What more our enemies! Love as Jesus loves.

Who are we told to love? Followers of Jesus are called to love one another. If we fight against one another, if we are not even at peace with one another, how does the world know of Jesus’ love? Jesus said: If you love one another then the world will know you are my disciples.

Jesus gave a ‘new’ commandment – what is new about this command to love? It is loving in humble servitude. It is loving as Jesus loves. He is the teacher and the master yet he washed his disciples’ feet. To love others so the world will know we are followers of Jesus. How? We follow in the footsteps of Jesus – to love others humbly and give of ourselves to serve others. We love because we are loved. We love because we want the world to know Jesus loves them.

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