Summary: Sermon for the 5th Sunday of Easter, Year C, 2013
Love One Another – John 13: 31 - 35
Intro: In 1993 Tina Turner released a song titled, “What’s Love Got To Do With it.” “What’s love got to do, got to do with it. What’s love but a second hand emotion. What’s love got to do, got to do with it? Who needs a heart when a heart can be broken?” What does love have to do with being a Christian? What is at the core of our belief system? When we look at our faith today, do we ask ourselves, “WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT?”
I. Verse 34 – “I give you a new commandment,”
A. The Greek for command entolē – “Directly addressed injunctions concerning matters of moral gravity, not limited in duration or person, but incumbent on all individuals of the addressed class.”
B. The “command” given by Jesus here is the only one directly given by Jesus to his disciples. It is interpreted to mean, “a given order” or “a commission”
C. This is not a suggestion. It is a command. It is not optional; it is mandatory. To be a follower of Christ Jesus, we must love.
II. Verse 34 – that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. I have loved you in order that you also love one another.
A. The Greek word used here for love is agapao. It means to seek the best for another with no thought of what you might receive in return. It is not some sentimental, sappy feeling. Jesus was calling the disciples to action not feelings.
B. Just as I have loved you. The preposition AS here does not mean “as well.” In other words, Jesus is not saying I love you, so you should love each other. The word AS here carries with it the meaning “IN LIKE MANNER.” He is telling them and us to love each other in the same way he loved.
C. You cannot command an emotion. Love is not a noun here. It is a verb. Understanding the difference between emotion and action . . . between what you feel and what you do . . . empowers every relationship you have.
III. Verse 35 – “By this everyone will know that you are disciples,”
A. Jesus says the world will know we are His followers by our love, not by reciting scripture, not by attending church, not by the amount of money we give. Christ Jesus wants his followers to be known for the way they love each other.
B. There are moment when not a single fiber of you r being feels loving and yet you can choose to act in loving ways. When someone you care about does the same foolish thing for the 3rd time in a week, you have a choice. You can yell . . . you can be ugly . . . or you can respond with kindness in your voice. That is acting in love.
C. In I Cor. 13: 4 – 7 Paul gives the following description of love: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protect, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
Conclu: Listen to the words that come out of your mouth at church . . . are they kind? At home . . . are they kind? Does someone need your kindness? Love is not rude, it is not self-seeking. Listen to the words that come out of your mouth.
Kindness is an act of love. Kindness begins when we see the needs of others around us. To be a kinder person, you must slow down and look for the good in others.
Jesus does not command us to feel love? He is commanding us to act in a loving way. Before we engage our tongue . . . think kindness . . . think love. Love is not something you feel; it is something you do!
What’s love got to do with it? --- EVERYTHING! It is how the world knows that we belong to Christ Jesus.