34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35 NIV)
Jesus gives us a new commandment…love one another. Seems simple enough doesn’t it? Just love one another. Just demonstrate genuine, authentic love and concern for those around you. No enemies only “loved ones.” Sounds simple enough, but it doesn’t take long to realize that this is the toughest commandment of all. This commandment makes, “Thou shalt not steal” look like a walk in the park. “Do not commit adultery” and “Do not kill” sounds like a piece of cake compared to “Love one another.” Don’t get me wrong, it is easy to love those who love me, it is easy to love those who are nice to me, treat me like a friend, and stick by me through thick and thin, but that’s not what Jesus said. He said, “Love one another.”
There are some folks that, quite frankly, I find almost impossible to love, yet Jesus commands me to love them. He doesn’t expect me to do this in my own love or my own power. He has promised to do through me what I can’t do on my own. Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5 NIV) As long as I “remain” in Him, allow Him to work through me, then He promises that I will bear “much fruit.” He also makes it very clear that apart from Him I can’t do a thing.
Jesus said that the world will know that we are His if we love one another. They won’t be impressed if we can quote chapter and verse of our favorite Bible verse. They won’t be won over by our discussion of doctrine. They will know something is up if we love one another. Let’s get ’em talking. Let’s make today the beginning of loving all of those He brings into our life.