34 “I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
The horrific events in 2020 greatly impacted many in considerable ways. Too often our world is driven by bitterness, hatred, and division. People are marginalized by things such as their socioeconomic status, gender, or the color of their skin and culture of origin. However, Jesus did not let these kinds of things prevent Him from truly loving others. He chose to meet people where they were in the midst of their circumstances, grief or pain. Lives are deeply changed because of the great love the Lord has for us. He is the perfect embodiment of love.
In this scripture, Jesus commands us to love one another. This command follows the washing of the disciples’ feet, which sets the stage for the humble and self-sacrificial love Christ models for us. However, we cannot love like this out of our own power. We must fill our hearts with deep love for the Creator of the universe, who crafted not just the world, but each and every one of us and our place in it. We must be so full of that love that we can’t help but pour out onto all of those with whom we come into contact. And we love, not just with words, but through our actions and our lives.
There is a reason why Jesus does not simply suggest that we love one another. He knew the nature of the human heart would not always feel drawn to loving others, which is why He commands it. Love is a choice and is not based solely upon our emotions. People will not always feel like loving each other, but Jesus calls us to something higher.
Genuinely loving others in the same way the Lord has loved us can be difficult, especially when we have experienced deep hurt. We don’t naturally want to choose humility and self-sacrificial love. But by living in the awareness of the depth of the love the Lord lavishes over us, we can allow that same love to overflow onto other people through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- How has someone shown you the love of Christ?
- Do people know the Lord because you show His great love to them?
- What areas of your life do you need to surrender to the Lord so you can fully experience His love?