“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
I have often thought I should learn to speak Spanish. I took classes in college, but my knowledge since then has faded. From time to time I’ve picked up vocabulary cards or done Spanish-speaking exercises, but I have never really kept up the effort.
Up to this point, I can say that I want to learn the language, but that doesn’t mean much. If I really believed it was important, I would make more of an effort and follow through so that I really do learn Spanish.
In this passage, Jesus tells his disciples to love one another because by doing so people will know they are his disciples. Jesus knows that our actions reveal our true beliefs and motivations, and he encourages his followers to live out their faith by loving one another well.
Jesus understands that it doesn’t do any good to preach a gospel of grace but to have a critical spirit toward the people around us. Further, it doesn’t help people to tell them that God loves them but to ignore their various needs. We are called to truly show the love of Jesus to the people around us, and by that they will know we really believe in God’s love and his good news for the world.
If we want to serve as effective disciples and point others to faith in Christ, our witness actually begins with the way we treat people.
Father, help me to see that showing your love is essential in my witness to others. Show me how to share your love with the people you bring into my life. Amen.
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