Summary: The parting words of Jesus to His disciples was: Love one another. It is the foundation to everything we do. It is a command. It is a witness. We need to experience fresh outpourings of God's love, count ourselves in and initiate moves to share this l
John 13:31-35 Love One Another ES 8 Jul 12 2138
Let’s revisit the scene at the Last Supper, when Jesus had his last moments with His disciples - in John 13:31-35.
33 "My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come.
34 "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
The words of a dying man tell a lot – about what he is most concerned about, what is most important.
• Jesus would soon be arrested (right after this supper). “I will be with you only a little longer,” he said.
• This is the last opportunity He has to speak with His 11 disciples, in this quiet environment. What would He say in this final moment?
What would you say? It’s good to sometime to visualise yourself in such a situation and ask yourself, what would I say to my loved ones? What will be my final and last words?
• These will surely be important words, about things that matter most in life!
• What did Jesus say? He gave them a command – a command to love one another!
He was talking to the 11 disciples who have spent 3 years with Him – living, learning, teaching, chatting, travelling, and ministering together,
• They were the few handpicked and groomed to be his ‘successors’ in the work of God’s Kingdom. And this is what He has to say: (1) Love one another.
• There are many things that we may have neglected or forgotten, but do pay attention to these 3 words.
Frankly, I expected something deeper or greater – like the secret to a successful ministry, the strategy of world evangelisation, or the principles of church growth.
• Ironically, we have no record of Jesus teaching the disciples about techniques, strategies or leadership in the 4 Gospels.
• No ‘Four Basic Steps to Good Preaching’ or ‘How to Share the Gospel in 5 minute’.
• Instead, we have Jesus talking about HOW they should treat one another.
Reminds me of what Paul says in 1 Cor 13:2: “If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.”
I believe the Holy Spirit will help them with the executions – we read in Acts - the Spirit was poured out upon the disciples, enabled them to preach the Gospel with boldness, thousands were saved and formed the church overnight, and they managed.
• I believe at different places, with different people, under different cultures, over different generations, the Holy Spirit will guide His church with the right approaches and ways of doing ministry.
• What was most important to Jesus is a matter of the heart - watch how we treat one another. We are called to LOVE ONE ANOTHER.
This will be the foundation to a blessed life; the foundation to a happy marriage, a strong family, and a united church.
• Love one another – starting from within your family, starting from those closest to you.
Jesus did not stop there – He said, (2) love the same way you have been loved.
• And the disciples understood that. They knew the love of Jesus. They saw the love of Jesus. They experienced the love of Jesus. They received the love of Jesus.
• They are simply asked to share what they have received from Jesus. He did not ask for what they have not received. John says, “We love because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)
• God is not demanding from us what we cannot afford to give; He is asking us to share what we do have!
How did Jesus love them? He loved them unconditionally; His love was sincere and truthful.
• He loved them even when they failed to understand God’s will, said the wrong things, and did foolish things.
• The disciples understood what He meant, having been with Him for 3 years. They had been transformed by that love, and they are now asked to share it.
Jesus did not put it across as a good advice, but (3) a COMMAND.
• It was expressed in a serious tone, because this was important to Him.
• But why? Why was it so important that they love one another the way Jesus loved them?
Verse 35 He explained, (4) “so that the world will know that you are my disciples.”