“My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come. 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.” – John 13:33-35
“Clean up the kitchen after you eat. Feed the dog and let him out. Make sure you get your homework finished and get to bed by 9:00.” Similar instructions are given to responsible children in countless households by parents who are about to leave them home alone for an evening.
Jesus gave his disciples some instructions when he knew that he would be leaving them soon. His instructions were very simple: “Love one another.” By dealing with one another in love, not only would the followers of Jesus be obeying his command, they would also be making it clear to others exactly who they are – disciples of Jesus.
What is this love that we are to have for one another? Jesus tells us that it is to be the same kind of love that he has for us. His love caused him to go to the cross and give up his life for us so that we don’t have to be punished for our sins. His love focused on our greatest need and was willing to do whatever it took to meet it even if that meant he would have to suffer tremendous pain and even die.
Because of his love for us and what that love caused him to do, we know that our sins have been forgiven, and our relationship with God restored. Such wonderful news motivates us to want to live for Jesus, and he tells us how to do so: “Love one another.”
By lifting our eyes off of ourselves to see others and their needs, and then working to meet those needs even if it means personal sacrifice on our part, we obey our Savior’s command to love one another. When we do, other people will notice that there is something different about us. They will recognize that we are disciples of Jesus.
Prayer: Jesus, my Savior, thank you for loving me enough to make the ultimate sacrifice for my sins. Help me to show that same sacrificial love to others that it may be evident to them that I follow and obey you. Amen.