This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.John 15:12
In John 15:12 Jesus tells us to “love one another”. Now, that sounds simple but our culture and our own sinful hearts twist that simple command out of shape. We rotate “love one another” into “love yourself”. “Love one another” often becomes “find someone who makes me emotionally excited”. Or “love one another” transforms into “find someone who will care for me so that I can care for them”. After all, relationships are 50-50! I can’t be expected to do good to someone else without “me time” first! Or perhaps “love one another” has warped into “try to be nice but if you get tired or they don’t respond it’s ok to quit”. However, the shape of the command is Jesus Christ himself. He said, “Love one another as I have loved you”. We must look at Christ’s pattern of love for his disciples in order to obey his command.
In what manner did Christ love his disciples? Well, that is a big question but let’s look at two answers. First, Christ’s love for his disciples is costly. Jesus obeyed his heavenly Father and gave up his life on the cross to save his people from their sins. Jesus allowed sick, hungry, needy people to interrupt his daily schedule in order to do them good. Jesus willingly allowed wicked men to strike him and mock him. If your child dares to interrupt your goals in life, do you snap at them? If your spouse speaks unkind words, do you give them the silent treatment? Doing good to others is costly. What price are you willing to pay in order to love another? You will only pay the price if you grasp how Christ loves each of his disciples all the time.
Second, Jesus’ love for his disciples was eager and affectionate. Jesus called them “friends”. He graciously revealed the truth about his Father to them. He patiently answered their silly questions. He walked with them. He fed them food. He even washed their dusty feet! Where do you get the strength to spend time with your children? How can you be patient again with an annoying workmate? Serving others is hard! Serving others is humiliating and time-consuming! Maybe, for you, serving has become a burden. A duty. A tax you pay so they will love you in return. You must remember how Christ loved his disciples. You must grasp how Christ loves each of his friends even now.
Loving others is impossible unless Christ has first loved us. Each day, we must go to Christ and consider him. We must be amazed that he would love someone so unlovely as ourselves. We must be staggered at the thought that the Son of God dared to be friends with sinners. Is Christ your friend? If so, “love one another as Christ has loved you”.