Summary: The one undeniable piece of evidence that will authenticate our position as believers in Jesus is our unqualified love for other people.
Discover the Proof – John 13
In John 13:
• Jesus washes the disciples’ feet. (1-17)
• John calls himself “the one Jesus loved.” (23)
• Judas makes his final decision to betray Jesus. (26-30)
• Jesus says an emotional goodbye to his friends. (31-35)
• Peter is told he will deny Christ. (36-38)
• The 11th Commandment. Loving people was not a new command (Leviticus), Loving people like Jesus loved people was an extraordinary new concept to the disciples.
John 13: 13-15 (NLT)
“You call me “Teacher” and “Lord” and you are right, because it is true. And since I, the Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.”
John 13:34-35 (NLT)
“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
Jesus purposely repeats himself
“I command you to love each other in the same way that I love you.”
“I command you to love each other.”
“Live a life filled with love for others, following the example of Christ, who loved you and gave himself as a sacrifice to take away your sins.”
1 John 4: 8-12
“But anyone who does not love does not know God – for God is love. God showed how much he loved us by sending his only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love. It is not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love has been brought to full expression through us.”
• The one undeniable piece of evidence that will authenticate our position as believers in Jesus is our unqualified love for other people.
• America is the most love-starved country on earth. (Hopi Indian Story)
1. Our love for one another is the key to influencing the lost.
“Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
The world is peeking into the windows of our church, looking for authentic believers who truly love one another, who truly serve one another and will surely die for one another if needed.
“If I could speak in any language in heaven or on earth but didn’t love others, I would only be making meaningless noise like a loud gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I knew all the mysteries of the future and knew everything about everything, but didn’t love others, what good would I be? And if I had the gift of faith so that I could speak to a mountain and make it move, without love I would be no good to anybody. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would be of no value whatsoever.”
• The gifts of the Holy Spirit are only attractive to the lost when they are demonstrated by people who love them.
• Our spiritual gifts do not make us spiritual. What makes us spiritual is the fruit we produce. The first fruit mentioned in Galatians 5 is LOVE!
2. How do we love another?
Prefer One Another
Romans 12:10 (NKJV)
“In honor, give preference to one another.”
• For thousands of years, humans thought that all the planets of the solar system revolved around the earth. After all, we live on it. We often think that the rest of the world revolves around our lives and that everyone should be caught up in our orbit.
1. Take the initiative to discover what other people like and dislike.
“I know my wife needs to feel secure, so I will stay at my job.”
“I know my son likes to play outside with me, so I will get home before dark.”
“I know my boss likes for me to be on time, so I will arrive five minutes early.”
“I know my spouse likes to sleep late on Saturday, so I will cook breakfast for the kids on that day.”
2. Encourage people to talk about themselves.
• Everyone’s favorite subject.
3. When in a group of people, make sure you include everyone in the conversation.
• Don’t dominate every conversation with your opinions and ideas.