The Lord is preparing His disciples for His own death. And He gives them this command:
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
It is a command. It is not optional. It is not conditional. Jesus has commanded us to love one another. We can’t pick and choose when or how we will love and remain obedient to Christ. He doesn’t qualify this command with exemptions. He doesn’t say love those who love you. He doesn’t say love those who are in your church but don’t worry about other churches. He doesn’t say to love one another unless they get elected for a position and you don’t.
There is no variance. We love everyone the same. We don’t love the pastor more than the custodian. No one is more important than another. No one person has more value than another. We love everyone.
The methodology of this love is Christlikeness. We love as Christ loved them and how did Christ love them? He loved them by giving up everything for their benefit. He always did what was best for them. He did not sugarcoat anything. He did not avoid difficult moments. He was also merciful, full of grace.
When we think of the last command Christ gives to us as His disciples, we usually think of the Great Commission which is to go into all the world, preaching, baptizing, teaching people to love, follow, and obey the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior. But how can we go out into the world and love them if we don’t love one another in our own church? How can we love the world if we don’t love within our own homes? Loving one another strikes at the heart of who we are as Christians and the Christ we represent. Should we go into the world and baptize people and bring them into the church just so that they can see how we fight and bicker over the smallest things, they will be turned away by our hypocrisy.
Nothing can be done for Christ unless it is done in Christ, the love of Christ. Every good deed done without the love of Christ is worthless and will come to nothing. Paul taught us that if we don’t have love, we will accomplish nothing.
It is important to know that love is a skill that we must work at. It is not easy to love people. But if we, as sinners ourselves, struggle to love those who sin against us, how great is the love of God who has always done what is best for us yet we sin against Him constantly. We do not love as pagans love, that is not the command. We are to love as Christ loves. This is not natural but of the Spirit. If we are going to fulfill this command, we must consistently and purposefully seek communion with the Holy Spirit that we might first be filled with the love of Christ so that we can then love others in that same love. We must discipline ourselves to submit to the Holy Spirit who guides us to the right actions and words to be loving in all situations.
Without this love being poured into us by the Holy Spirit, we may fulfill our Christian duties, but without the essential element that makes those duties beneficial and prosperous in the souls of others. Without love, we have nothing, we are nothing, and nothing will become of our ministry to others. Let us submit to this command. Love one another.
This is a tough command. Have you seen how love has radically changed a situation in your life? Leave a comment and share.
Live Blessed and Be a Blessing!
Pastor Lee is a pastor and Biblical life coach. He has been helping people through counseling, pastoring, teaching, and preaching for 20+ years. His ministry focuses on helping people overcome the strongholds of the past and press on into God’s plan for an abundant life. He has been married to his wife, Amy for 28 years. He has three sons and one daughter-in-love. For more about Pastor Lee or to get some Biblical advice, go to the About page.