Jesus gave His disciples a new command to “love one another.” What does that look like in our lives?
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35
If you ever wonder if this command is important and if it was taken seriously by Jesus’ disciples, consider these verses:
Paul to the Romans- 8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. Romans 13:8
Peter to his flock- 22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. 1 Peter 1:22
John to his flock- 11 For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. 1 John 3:11
23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 1 John 4:7
11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
5 And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another. 2 John 5
The answer? Yes, they took it very seriously. Notice how many times John uses the phrase in his letters. So, how do we love? We looked at “Love is patient, love is kind” yesterday. Let’s look at the next three:
Love is not envious- Envy begins with looking around us at where others are and what they have and wanting more. Where covetousness is wanting what someone has and them not having it, envy comes very close to it. It creates discontent with what we have or don’t have. Instead, we are to give glory to God for where we are and what we have or have not, trusting Him for what we need in order to bring Him glory. Note: See Season 3, Episode 2 of The Chosen for a great teaching on this subject.
Love does not boast, it is not proud- We will take both of these together. To hate someone, as in Matthew 5:43, means, “to detest, persecute, love (esteem) less.” We understand “detest” and “persecute,” but to “esteem less” doesn’t really compute to us in America. Let me explain: To “esteem less” is to hold someone in contempt, or to deem not worthy of our love and care, patience and kindness. Anytime we dismiss someone as undeserving or unworthy, we “esteem less.” Boasting requires us to “esteem less” in order to hold our position higher than someone else, and it takes pride to do it. If we truly want to be like Jesus and love like Him, we need to rid ourselves of boasting and pride. OUCH!
As we worship today in our respective churches, ask the Lord to reveal any areas of pride, envy, or “esteeming less.” Repent–turn around and think differently–and make amends even before you offer your gift of praise on the altar (Matthew 5:23-24). You’ll be glad you did.
Abba, may we all be aware of our pride and boasting. To think that I know more than my brother is a type of condescension, in which I hold them in contempt and “esteem them less.” May I be all about “the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” that Paul talks about in Ephesians 4:3. I want to worship You in Spirit and in truth today with clean hands and a pure heart. Amen.