Summary: It begins with learning God's love, and learning to love oneself. Link inc. to formatted text, audio, PowerPoint.
Love One Another
Is this really a new commandment? They've been told to love before. It's a new commandment because they've never been told to love this way before. They're to love one another 'as I have loved you'
You don't need to wear a lapel pin or a Christian t-shirt. You don't need a bumper sticker. It doesn't matter if you post it online.
“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:35).
I'm not against these outward statements of Christianity, that is, unless you don't back it up with your life and your love for people. In that case, peel it off the bumper, and only use the shirt for painting inside.
The proof that we are disciples is that we love one another in the Lord Jesus Christ.
About 200 years ago an encyclopedia wrote an article on love, and it took 5 pages. That same encyclopedia attempted to describe the atom and they took about four lines. Recently, in a recent addition of that same encyclopedia they left love out all together and took five pages to explain the atom.
You know Jesus said: “because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold” (Matthew 24:12). We live in a day of abounding iniquity and dwindling love. And even psychiatrists will tell you that what people in this world need more than anything else is the ability to love and to be loved. Do you know what the world needs now? [love, sweet love!] We are sick. We are sin sick. Some didn't grow up under the right kind of love, and need to learn true love from the Heavenly Father.
Love doesn't make the world go round but it makes the trip worthwhile. It really does. We need to love one another.
Love is very hard to explain and it's very hard to express, even romantic love. I remember when I fell in love with Kimberly. I can't explain the feeling except to say I felt like a grasshopper on roller skates. I'll tell you it's just so exciting to be in love. I remember when I kissed her the first time. I put my arms around her waist and she put her arms around my neck and I felt those cold chills go down my back. [Her popsicle was melting.]
Somebody said that love is an inward expressability of an outward all overishness. Or, love is that feeling you get when you feel a feeling you've never felt before. It's hard to express love isn't it?
How much more difficult is it to express the love of God When Jesus said: “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another” (John 13:34)?
An example is what we need. And last week we began studying the story of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet. Go back to the beginning of that chapter and look at it with me for just a moment.
v. 1 The Bible says He loved His own right up until the end of His sojourn here on earth, and He is still loving us. And, then He gives them a commandment that they are to love one another even as He has loved them. Now, sandwiched in between those things is the washing of the disciple's feet, which is the great illustration of the kind of love that I am talking about today.
1. Selfless love.
vv. 4-5: “He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.”
It was meant not only to cleanse but to refresh, relax, renew, restore and get a foot massage. You know, if your feet hurt you then you hurt all over, don't you. And, you ladies like that. And think how clean it would keep the house. We maybe haven't made all that much progress as we think we've made.
Washing feet of inferiors shows humility as we discovered last time. Washing fishermen's feet shows love. And of all the lessons on humility and holiness we studied, love is the foundation. God is love, and any good thing we can ever study begins in God's love, and is made up of His love DNA. We only learn true love from God. It's how we learn to love others.
We're talking about selfless love. Now, we live in a society that puts so much emphasis upon self. Self-fulfillment. Self-aggrandizement. That's the age in which we live. But Jesus said no to self. Jesus laid aside that self-ism that He might serve others.