Summary: THIS SERMON TOUCHES UPON THE COMMAND TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER AS A COPY OF HIS LOVE TOWARDS US.
John 13:34-35. A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved, so you must love one another. By this all men shall know you are my disciples, if you love one another.
Here we have Jesus in his upper room prior to his crucifixion and resurrection and he wants his disciples to grasp the great importance of Christian love. He conveys three important aspects of Christian love:
Firstly it is a command to love one another ... Secondly He desires that Christian love be a copy of his love.
And thirdly Jesus confirms that through the practical outworking of this love, others will be convinced that they are His disciples. Although here He is speaking directly to his disciples yet this command is as relevant to us as it was to them back in the 1st century we are 21ST century disciples of Christ. So lets unpack this revolutionary Christian love.
1. COMMAND TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER. Love one another
The command to love one another was it a new command? YES AND NO! No in that God law already stated: Lev 19:18. Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbour as yourself. I am the Lord.
But YES it was new in the way that Jesus was commanding us to love one another.To love others as Christ loved was and is revolutionary!
a) TO LOVE OTHERS IS GOING A STEP FURTHER THAN THE NORM
• The woman from Samaria, who Jews looked upon as half breeds, they would not even associate with Samaritans but Jesus does in fact he goes out of his way to minister to her. Here is a woman who was immoral and she knew it coming out at the heat of the day to draw water, a string of husbands to her name, and the man she was now living with was not even here husband. YET Jesus demonstrates great love meeting with her and pointing her to LIVING WATER.
Then those people with leprosy, others would not even touch making them walk around ringing a bell announcing they are unclean even banishing them away to colonies. Yet Jesus moved amongst them touching and healing them.
The deaf,the blind,the paralysed were all ministered to and loved by Jesus others would have considered them cursed by God, yet Jesus shows they are actually loved by God. Is not this type of love revolutionary?
I believe there are people in our community who are 21st century untouchables but are in the direct need of the revolutionary love of Jesus. And we as followers of Christ are the ones called to engage in this revolutionary love towards others:
People in our community who are gossiped about and even shunned by others ... There will be men in our community who are violent physically / verbally towards their wives, both need help yet the community remains silent. There will be couples who are at the end of themselves and their relationship is in tatters heading for divorce but nobody is prepared to step in and build lasting relationships. There will be a sons/daughters of people in this community who are heroin addicts whose lives are being wreaked, whose parents have nobody to speak to and nobody to help. There will be alcoholics in this community who have lost family and jobs who cry themsleves to sleep at night. Families with sick children who need our support and love, there will be a men/ woman in this community who have been sexually abused as a child and as a result hates themselves and is self harming. There is youth element in this village that people are fearfully about. Are we going to cross over and engage with this youth? Shouldn’t we above all people, as Christians be engaging with these people, with the revolutionary LOVE OF JESUS? Are we going to become like Jesus and cross over into the lives of these people whenever we have a real opportunity? Are we prepared to make a difference? Can we at CBC turn this community upside down with the radical love of Jesus?
Can we become the hands, the voice the ears and eyes of Jesus. Lets reach out to a hurting community, let us continue to strive for ways of crossing over the barriers into the lives of others who are disenfranchised from our community and demonstrate the unconditional love of Jesus towards others.
b) TO LOVE EACH OTHER ALSO.
But here we see that Jesus is actually calling us to love each other – we who call ourselves Christians – sometimes when I look at the Christian family not only here but everywhere I think what a Joke. I have never seen such a group of messed up people.