To love another person is to see the face of God. –Victor Hugo in "Les Miserables"
Our kindergarten teachers hung banners on the walls that stated, "Be Kind to Your Neighbors." I can still hear my mother as she stepped in between my brother and me in the midst of a heated "discussion," saying, "Boys, do unto others as you would have them do to you." And all over Christianity we hear the phrase "love one another" – it's one of those umbrella statements that is supposed to cover everything – and it does.
When asked by the Pharisees what the most important commandment was, Jesus' answer was: "Love one another." But then Jesus added something more:
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." – John 13:34-35
The love Jesus describes to His disciples is not just any kind of love. It's completely different than any other kind of compassion a person can muster. The love that Jesus tells us to share with others is a radically new kind of love.
- It's a commencement, a fresh start – a "new command." This love is more than just an emotion. It's not something you "fall into," full of heart hiccups and butterflies in the belly. It's a choice, an act of will, a verb.
- It's a commandment, not an option. And we are to carry it out just the way Jesus serves up His love for us: A constant supply of selfless giving.
- Lastly, it is to be a confirmation for others that when they see our acts, others will know that we are His disciples.
Yeah, we hear that we are supposed to "love one another" all the time. But it's far, far more than an expression. This "Jesus kind of love" is the substance behind everything that we are and everything that we do.
Loving Savior, I want to care for others with this unique love. This week, guide me as I open my heart to learn more about having a "Jesus kind of love." Amen.
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