A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.
~ John 13:34
Jesus says this at the end of a well-known passage of scripture. And God has been teaching me somethings on this idea of “Love” for a while now. And with teaching through The Gospel of John recently with our youth at church and also a new cd from Todd Agnew its all coming together.
This is the passage (John 13) where Jesus washes His Disciples feet, normally when we think of this passage we immediately go to Peter putting his foot in his mouth again. But what jumped out at me when studying this passage was something different. Verse One says that “..Jesus knew that His hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father…” Ok, I understand that Jesus being God in flesh knew all things and knew what was going to happen to Him and why He was sent. So He washes HIs Disciples feet, and in verse 15 tells them that He has set an example for them to do also; He then rejoins the table to continue with the meal, and there tells them that one of them, a Disciple there eating with them, will betray Him. He then passes bread to Judas and tells him in verse 27, “What you are going to do, do quickly.”
After Judas leaves Jesus says:
31 When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. 32 If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him at once.33 Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’ 34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
~ John 13:31-35
This is what jumped out at me, that Jesus washed His Disciples feet and said now I am about to depart from here but you love one another as I have love you. Jesus, God, got down on His hands and knees and washed His Disciples feet….even Judas Feet, the one who would betray Him; catch that. Jesus washed Judas’ feet. As hard as it is to think that God would wash His Disciples feet, a chore for slaves, it’s even harder to imagine Him washing his feet. Verse one, Jesus knew that hour, He knows all things so He’s washing Peter’s feet knowing that he will deny Him three times but also that he will then preach and 3000 will come to faith, and he will eventually die for his faith. But to wash Judas’ feet, the man who would betray Him?? Then Jesus says ok you go do the same, and here’s why: so that the world will know that you are My Disciples.
By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another
~ John 13:35
Francis Schaeffer, in his short essay, “Mark of a Christian,” states that the way we love is the true mark of whether or not we are a Christian. He argues that in Jesus stating this in verse 34 & 35, He is giving the world a test to hold up to us to see if we are real.
The fact that Jesus would wash Judas’ feet then say go love as I have loved, takes away all excuses from us. No matter what someone has done against us, or who someone is, or _____ (fill in the blank), none of us have been betrayed to the point of death.
Because His command to Love our Neighbor has nothing to do with our neighbor! But has everything to do with His Name and His Love being extended. So this command focuses on our hearts and whether or not we are willing to submit to Christ and His Command to Love our Neighbor. This is what the Lord has been showing me over the past year, that this command isn’t about them, but do you submit to My Commands?
Last week Todd Agnew had a new album come out called “how to be loved” (great album you should check it out). Song number 2 is titled, “Love Your Neighbor,” on his blog about the song he wrote: (here’s the entire blog)
I don’t know that God is nearly as concerned with the truth of the sign held by the alleged homeless, the supposed poor, as He is with His glory and character being reflected just for a moment at that intersection.
So the moments we have to extend God’s Love, is not about them and who they are, where they are from, what they have done to us or others, but it’s about us submitting to Gods Word and reflecting Him in that moment.
No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
~ I John 4:12
No one has seen God, but if we love, then maybe they get a glimpse of Him.
What are we reflecting into the lives that God has ordained that we cross paths with in this life?
“Love Your Neighbor”
“Love your neighbor
Doesn’t ask me if I fully understand
Doesn’t ask if he’s a working class kind of man
Love Your Neighbor is a little about him
Probably more about me
But its a lot, a lot about You
Love is a lot about You”
The command to love those around us, has nothing to do with the ones around us. Has a lot to do with the condition of our heart and who He is.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.