A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. (John 13:34-35)
Jesus also said,
Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. (John 14:23-24)
People will say, “It’s hard to love unlovable people!” That is precisely why Jesus issued the command!
Jesus said love for others is the evidence of a relationship with him. I’ve known many who claim to walk with Jesus while clearly disliking others, bringing their claim of a relationship with Jesus into question.
- I have witnessed blatant racism among those who claim to follow Jesus.
- I know people who refuse to speak to others within the church.
- I have encountered angry rebukes among self-designated leaders of the church.
The sad part is…
I recently witnessed truly inspiring graciousness among people who disagreed with one another. They were kind, loving, supportive, compassionate, and empathetic. Sadly, these people were not followers of Jesus.
I wondered, “How can such people surpass so many who profess personal faith in Jesus?” I can only conclude that many among us do not love Jesus even though they say they do.
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. (I Corinthians 13:1).
The love we have for one another is the standard by which our love for Jesus is measured.