Commanded to Love

Commanded to Love

John 13:31-33,34-35

Love is how we should exist as a community of Christians in this place and in the world.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.


Please sit down.

Last week we talked about the bond of love that exists between in God the Father and God the Son. And we explored how that bond of love is the bond of love that Jesus has for us and how Jesus calls us to express that love between Christians.

So the love that you and I have for one another is the same love that Jesus has for us and that God the Father has for God the Son. And it works in both directions.

This week, though, Jesus goes further.

He doesn’t just say, Here is the example of love between my Father and me and you and you and one another. But he commands us to love one another in the way that he has loved the disciples. “Love one another as I have loved you.”

So not only does Jesus command us to love one another, but he also lays out how to love one another. And the how is in how Jesus loves his disciples. He’s given us the model in the way that he is with his disciples, in the way that he forgives them, in the way that he walks with them, in the way that he just exists with them.

He shows us how to love. And as I read the scripture and as I read the examples of the interactions between Jesus and his disciples, I come up with four things that identify the practical outworking of love between all of us.

And the first is that love must be selfless. Even in our deepest and our closest relationships. It is in some way always about us, even if it’s subconscious we are thinking, what do I get out of this relationship?

And it may just be that the relationship makes you happy or that at least you’re not lonely if you’re in this relationship. But ultimately that is still about us and it’s not about the person that we love. Love must be selfless. It cannot be about us. Jesus one desire was to give himself utterly and completely for those that he loved.

Love, therefore, is sacrificial. The removal of self can be hard and very difficult, but there is no limit to where love can take us. There is no demand that is too high. Jesus love for us was so complete that it meant the cross. Sometimes we think that love exists simply to make us happy.

Those who’ve been married for a very long time know that is not necessarily the case. Love can bring pain, and love can demand a cross.

And so therefore love has to be offered understandingly. The disciples were not great at times. They were slow to learn. They were irritable.

They often argued with one another. But Jesus loved them for who they were.

When you open up a Clinton’s Valentine’s Day card or you speak about love in the world, you often hear the phrase “love is blind” what absolute tosh! Poppycock!

Love is open-eyed. It allows for us to love not what we imagine people to be or who we want them to be, but who they are. The heart of Jesus and our hearts are big enough to love warts and all.

Love is offered forgivingly the disciples denied Jesus they left him in his hour of need. They spent all that time with him and they never seemed to understand him.

They were insensitive. They did things that we would not be able to forgive.

But Jesus held nothing against them. There was no failure that Jesus could not forgive. Love that cannot forgive is a dead love.

So Jesus shows us that those we love the most we have to be able to forgive the most.

Love is selfless.

Love is sacrificial.

Love is understanding.

Love is forgiving.

Love is how we should exist as a community of Christians in this place and in the world.