THE SERVANT GENERAL
LOVING ONE ANOTHER
LOVING AS GOD LOVES – 2
Today’s gospel: John 13:21-38
At the last supper, Jesus told his disciples about loving
one another. “I give you a new commandment: love one
another.” (v.34a). Actually, God had already given His
chosen people this command. “You shall love your neighbor
as yourself. I am the Lord.” (Lv 19:18b). What was new
about Jesus’ command? It is this: “As I have loved
you, so you also should love one another.” (v.34b).
we Christians not aware of the call to love? We are. Love
is the primary virtue and characteristic of a Christian. But
while we might strive to love, on what standard do we base
our love? We love only those who love us? Those whom we like?
Those who are close to us? Those who treat us well?
the standard is how Jesus has loved us, then there is no limitation
to such love. The love of Jesus is unilateral, unconditional
and self-sacrificial. He loved even those who betrayed, denied,
abandoned, ridiculed and persecuted him. He lived out the
command to love one’s enemy.
is the great challenge for us. In loving, we need to look
to Jesus. In loving, we need to love as Jesus loves. He is
patient, tolerant, forbearing, forgiving, merciful. He wants
only what is best for all. His love is intended to bring people
Since such love is Jesus’ command to us, then we have
to obey. But there is one more thing. We as Christians are
supposed to be disciples of Jesus. We are to do the will of
the Master. As disciples, we do the work of Jesus. As disciples,
we are living witnesses to Christ. How then do we know we
are fulfilling this mandate? This is what Jesus says: “This
is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have
love for one another.” (v.35).
is the challenge. This is the benchmark. This is the proof
that we indeed have decided to follow Jesus. And many Christians
fail in this. There is discord between husband and wife. There
are conflicts within Christian community. There is gossip,
envy, backbiting and slander among Christian brethren.
who act in such ways disparage the Christ whom they profess
to follow. Instead of attracting people by their witness,
they turn people off and away.
the other hand, the early Christians really bore good witness
to the world, and people came to faith in Jesus when they
saw how they related to one another. “See how they love
one another.” When our Church was established on the
day of Pentecost, the believers acted with devotion, with
fraternal care and concern, with joyful fellowship, always
“praising God and enjoying favor with all the people”
(Acts 2:47a). They were effective witnesses. The effect? “And
every day the Lord added to their number those who were being
saved.” (Acts 2:47b).
Jesus gave his new commandment of love, not only because God
is love, but in order to further the salvation of the world.
Jesus’ ultimate act of love was dying for us on the
cross. We too are to live for others, even giving our lives
for the cause of Christ. The only way to love is to love as
Jesus loves, starting with our brethren in Christ.