“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have
loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to
the world that you are my disciples.”(John 13:34-35)
Christ’s command to us is about loving God and neighbor.
Loving you is hard work. Loving me is hard work. It’s not just mustering up warm feelings; the love of which Jesus speaks is my intentional action for your benefit, and your actions for my benefit.
And Jesus doesn’t say “Love each other when you feel like it.” Nor does He say “Love each other when you’re feeling good about each other” or “. . . when you’re not mad at each other.” He says love, and He means take action for that other person’s benefit. Do it even if you don’t feel like it, even if you don’t want to. Love is action for the other’s benefit: for their success, healing, renewal, redemption. This is not a suggestion from Jesus; it is a command: Love one another.
Here’s how Apostle John describes it:
“Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone
who loves is born of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not
know God—for God is love.”
God showed how much he loved us by sending his only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love. The Father loved us and sent his Son as sacrifice to take away our sins. All who proclaim that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God. We love each other as a result of his loving us first.
Jesus told us to love even our enemies, and pray for them! Jesus does not give me the “option” of hating my opponents. Whether they are brothers and sisters in Christ, or enemies, it is not permitted. If I claim Christ as Savior, I do not have that choice. After all, we were His enemies, and he loved us. Had He hated us, we would all be dead.
Read what Jesus said,
“You have heard that the Law of Moses says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy.
But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be
acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil
and the good, and he sends rain on the just and on the unjust, too.”
So I challenge you to make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive the person who offends you. If your heart is anything like mine, it struggles and fails to do this. But the simple fact that I struggle and fail to love as Jesus has told me to love, does not exempt me from His command.
Learn to love each other.