Love One Another
“By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” -- John 13:35
Loving people sounds easy, but have you noticed how difficult it can be to really love people—especially when they’ve done something to upset you? How easy is it to love someone who just cut you off in traffic? Or someone who betrayed your trust? It’s extremely difficult in both circumstances. But if we look at the story of the Last Supper in the upper room where Jesus and the disciples were gathered, Jesus gave us the perfect example of how we can love others, and He did it knowing Judas had betrayed Him, a betrayal that would ultimately lead to his crucifixion.
Moments after Judas left, Jesus spoke these words to the remaining disciples: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35). Jesus, who was only hours away from being crucified, was giving the disciples a new way to live. However, His statement leads to another question: How do we truly love one another?
If we look closely, just a few verses earlier, we see Jesus already demonstrated this that night when He washed His disciples’ feet and said, “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.” Loving others is serving others in relationship. When we belong to family we have to love, serve, and grow in relationship with each other.
An example of loving relationships comes from Romans 12:15: “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” Sometimes we don’t feel like rejoicing with others. In fact, sometimes it’s easier to be jealous, but love isn’t selfish or envious. Loving one another means being kind, patient, and hopeful. Loving one another is an act of generosity—generosity of joy and sharing in celebrations. Isn’t good news always better when shared with someone who has been praying and believing with you? God made us with a need to connect with people and share the joys and experiences of life with others. When we belong to family, we develop lasting relationships that demonstrate the very heart of God here on earth.
Are you currently growing in relationship with others? Take Jesus’ words and actions to heart and look for ways to serve each other. You’ll be amazed at the friendships you’ll make, and the world will be amazed at the demonstration of love for others.
God, I want to truly understand what it means to love people. Help me to demonstrate Your love in the way I treat others. Give me the eyes to see others the way You see them, and give me the courage and wisdom to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. Show me ways I can build and grow relationships with others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
For Further Study
- Matthew 22:37-40; Romans 12:9-21; 1 John 4:7-11; 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
-- Amanda Johnson
Taken from Created to Be, a Gateway devotion.