The Love Command

He commands the disciples to love one another, but he also reminds them that they will continue to feel his presence despite the fact that he will not be with them. They will exhibit their discipleship by doing what he commands: by loving one another as he loved them. John continues this discourse on love in John 15:1-16:4.
Here is an opportunity this week to talk about the requirement and justice of love. We so often draw lines about who we will love and who we will be tempted to cast in the role of “less loving” in our lives. This happens in the hearts and minds of both individuals -- and the church. An interesting thing to note in this text is that Jesus is reminding the disciples that they will be known to others by their acts of loving (verse 35). We would do well to listen to this commandment. We also are called to love others as a mark of our own discipleship.
The way Jesus talks about loving each other is a precursor of the spread of Christianity. As he loved and that love spread within his inner circle, so too will love spread after he is gone when love is done in his name.
This act, to love others, is a distinguishing mark of the followers of Christ then and will continue to be (verses 34-35). Some would say that one of the weaknesses of the church today is the way many Christians do not embody this commandment -- or the others -- commanding his followers to love their neighbour.
Jesus makes plain his call to the disciples. “Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples -- when they see the love you have for each other” (verses 34-35).
Jesus was bold and clear then. How much clearer do we need Jesus to be for our own lives of discipleship now?

Karyn Wiseman,

Download Parish Newsletter 24th April 2016