This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this, than to lay down his life for his friends.
– John 15:12
When we come to the text today we see that Jesus is charging the believer to do something. He’s charging us to obey and demonstrate our love through the brethren. The words “to love” here is a command and is written in what we call the present active tense. That means it’s something you keep on doing and it’s not something that you do just one time. In other words, you don’t stop no matter what the outcomeis in the object of the thing in which you are loving. For example, my good friend, Dr. Elwell, says that John uses this language over four times in the book of John and he’s writing it because it’s a word that’s powerful to him. He says ‘I’m giving you a new commandment that you love one another, just as I have loved you,’ in John 13:4. Now according to Dr. Elwell, the disciples were being encouraged to love their enemies because they were living in a hostile time as followers of Christ. Dr. Elwell also suggests that Jesus’ command to love is for those who are in his body; we are to love one another as brothers and sisters in Christ. Now, this would provide proof to a fallen world that we were his believers, his followers, his sons and daughters—if we love one another. So their love and our love would provide proof , evidence, that we are followers of Christ—do you have that evidence today? Do the people in your cohort know that you love them today? How about your families? What about your communities? How about your neighborhoods? Does your neighbor know that you love them today? If not, here’s the love challenge this month: love somebody in spite of how they respond to you.
Can I pray for us now? Let’s pray:
Father thank you so much. Thank you for our cohorts, thank you for this great university. Thank you for the opportunity to study about your love. Thank you for the reminder that greater love has no man than this, that he would lay down his life for a friend. Teach us to know what this means, teach us how to live this out. Teach us to be brothers and sisters that truly love one another and we’ll give honor, glory and praise. In Jesus’ name, Amen.