By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
What is the mark of a Christ-follower? There is great danger if we let our commitment to Christ get distorted by allegiance to a specific cause or issue. Jesus was clear that following him is not about political or power agendas. It cannot be reduced to a theological tradition or a denominational boundary either. The mark of the Christian, according to Jesus, is love.
This is what makes Christianity unique. Love is the essential principle of the Christian faith, and Jesus is passionate that we show love for one another.
When Jesus gives this command, there is no room to read it as optional. Love is a requirement of being a follower of Christ. And this is no abstract idea. Jesus makes clear that we are to follow his example. And through the Holy Spirit, who came to build and grow the church after Jesus left his disciples and ascended to heaven, we have Christ’s love in abundance.
Jesus said that it is by our love for one another that others will know we are his disciples. Showing Christ’s love is one of the most basic methods for spreading the good news of Jesus, and yet it is sometimes the most difficult thing for us to do.
The command to love one another is to reflect Christ’s love for us—unconditional and sacrificial. By this, the world will know who (and whose) we are.
Loving God, you have given us a visible witness to the world by your love. May the passion of our lives and our love for others—all supplied by you—be the invitation by which a watching world will know you. Amen.
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