How do people know that you are a Christian? What sets you apart from anyone else in the world? Is it easier to blend in and go along with the majority? Jesus gave one commandment that would guarantee that non-believers and those seeking a better life would know that Christians are different. They would know that following Jesus changes lives. And this would happen without us saying one “Thou shalt not, or I believe in or don’t believe in…”
“A new command I give you; Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34
The ‘old’ command, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” Leviticus 19:18 was given by God, through Moses to the Israelites in 1445 BC. The disciples knew this command and it was enough of a challenge to obey, but the new command would prove to be much more challenging. They were to love each other as Jesus loved them. If they obeyed it, it would be obvious to the world that they were disciples of Jesus.
“By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John13:35
Not only would they be set apart but they would have a bond that would keep them together. Jesus knew that if His disciples would follow this one command, they would survive in a hostile world where He was not physically present with them.
Jesus, through His love, was about to go to the cross as the sacrifice for the forgiveness of sin.
Ephesians 5:2 says to be imitators of God; to live a life of love; just as Jesus gave Himself up as a sacrifice to God.
To be an imitator of God, look for examples of Jesus’ love in the gospels – the Books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in the Bible. You will find story after story of His amazing love.
- It means that I have to forgive someone even when they don’t know they need forgiven.
- I have to forgive wrongs against me when I am not asked for forgiveness.
- I may have to show love to someone who I don’t consider lovable.
- I will have to go out of my way and out of my comfort zone to help someone in need.
- I may have to sacrifice my own comfort or even my future worldly expectations for the good of someone else.