Summary: Jesus said, ’this is my command: Love one another.’ How does that work? It is easy to see how you can obey a command not to lie, or steal or commit murder – but how can you command somebody to love somebody. How is that possible?
Verse 12: ‘My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you’. Verse 17: ‘This is my command: Love each other’.
One of the funniest comedies ever to find it’s way onto our tv screens, arguably, has to be Fawlty Towers. It starred John Cleese as the Torquay hotel owner Basil Fawlty, and Prunella Scales as his domineering wife Sybil. Incredibly there were only ever two series, of six episodes ever made, one of the most famous of which has to be the episode where the germans come to stay and everyone is under strict instructions, ‘not to mention the war’….
‘Orders, orders must be obeyed at all times’ – says Basil. It’s a tentative link I know – but Jesus said ‘My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you’. Orders must be obeyed at all times. We are used to obeying orders aren’t we. We live in a country that is full of rules and regulations and laws, which are increasing day on day, and we are expected, as good citizens to obey the laws of the land.
Did you hear about the man who was driving down the road when he got pulled over by a policeman. The driver asked "Is there a problem Officer?" The policeman says, "Sir, you were speeding. Can I see your licence please?"
The driver responds, "I’d give it to you but I don’t have one." - "You don’t have one?" "No, I lost it four times for drink driving." The policeman is shocked. "I see. Well can I see your vehicle registration papers please?"
"I’m sorry, I can’t do that." The policeman says, "Why not?" "I stole this car." The officer says, "Stole it?" The man says, "Yes, and I killed the owner." "You what!?" "Yea, she’s in the boot if you want to see."
The Officer looks at the man and slowly backs away to his car and calls for back up. Within minutes, five police cars show up, and the driver is surrounded by armed policemen. A senior officer slowly approaches the car.
"Sir, could you step out of your vehicle please!" The man steps out of his vehicle. "Is there a problem officer?" "My officer told me that you have stolen this car and murdered the owner." "Murdered the owner?"The officer responds, "Yes, could you please open the trunk of your car please?" The man opens the boot, revealing nothing but an emptiness.
The officer says, "Is this your car sir?" The man says "Yes," and hands over the registration papers. The officer, understandably, is quite stunned. "My officer claims that you do not have a driving licence." The man digs in his pocket revealing a wallet and hands it to the officer. The officer opens the wallet and examines the licence. He looks quite puzzled. "Thank you sir, my officer told me that you didn’t have a licence, stole this car, and murdered the owner."
And the driver said, "I bet you the liar told you I was speeding, too!"
We live in a land of rules and regulations and laws and we all know that we are expected to obey them. To live in obedience to them. Now I’ve got no problem with that. I am an ex military man, spent a lot of years following orders, following the rules, being obedient to what I was told. Now I know not everybody operates that way.
When I first went to Bible college – the principle told us that that every morning at 8.30, there was morning prayers in the chapel, and we were all expected to be present even if you didn’t have any lectures on that day. Well, ok, I’m an ex military man, you’re the principle, you’re the boss, you say jump – I say how high! So every morning, 8.30 I turned up – the others didn’t. And I used to get so annoyed – not because they didn’t turn up, but because they were breaking the rules and nothing happened to them. They were blatantly being disobedient and getting away with it.
Some people live their lives like that – but the rules and regulations and laws of the land are there for our own good and for the good of our society. They help us to live alongside each other and in harmony with each other. Could you imagine the chaos and pandemonium and carnage there would be on our roads if there were no laws - or if people just totally ignored them. ‘Orders must be obeyed at all times’.
And it’s the same in our Christian life. God has given us rules and regulations that we are expected to keep, that we are expected to obey. They’re called the 10 Commandments. They’re not called the 10 suggestions, or the 10 things you really should try if you want a better life. They are the 10 Commandments – they are the 10 rules and regulations and laws of how to live the life that God expects us to live. And he expects us to be obedient! He expects us to obey. You know someone once asked Dr. Cho (pastor of largest church in the world – over 1 million.) What is the key to your great success? His reply was very simple “I pray and I obey”.