Luke 22; John 13
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love one for another. John 13:34-45
What does it mean to love one another? Many seem to believe love is the same thing as acceptance, or tolerance. Some think love means giving people hugs, then giving them space to live life anyway they want. I grew up in the 60’s when the word “love” was proclaimed from drug induced songwriters and poets, and touted as “free.” Is that the love Jesus was speaking about here?
Jesus tells us to love others the same way He loved the disciples, loves us. Let’s look at how Jesus loved:
He healed diseases, forgave sin, pointed out hypocrisy, cast out demons, confronted sinners, overturned money tables, and finally and most importantly, suffered and went to the cross to die. There was no acceptance of sin in the way Jesus loved. There was no looking the other way.
Jesus’ love was not the hippie version of love, or even the Hallmark-feel-good version. Jesus loved tough. Jesus’ love was in-your-face. Jesus’ love went beyond this life into eternity.
Personally, I think we need Jesus’ love demonstrated more fully these days. I think the Church has adopted a definition of love that is meaningless in light of God’s Word. If we adopt the world’s view of love, they won’t recognize us as Jesus’ disciples. We’ll look just like them.
They won’t recognize the reality of Jesus’ love that does not want them to die in their sin. That love which sent Him to the cross so they can be forgiven and live with Him forever. We need more than love. We need to put that love into action just like He did.
We need to love one another hard enough to call sin sin, and introduce people to their Savior. Then we will be loving in the same way Jesus loves.