Summary: Love has everything to do with it.
“What’s Love Got To Do With It?”
By: Rev. ken Sauer, Pastor of Parkview United Methodist Church,
Newport News, VA
“As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
Perhaps more than any other single verse in the New Testament, this one should cause us to get up out of our pews, run out of the church doors, and never come back!
Just before He died and just after He washed feet, Jesus gave a “new command” to a community in crisis.
“Love one another,” He said.
Now on one level, that’s no sweat. Think nice thoughts, do an occasional good deed, and center your life around the tenets of Hallmark.
We know how to do that because we are generally pretty nice people, right?
But wait a minute.
Jesus doesn’t stop there.
He also says, “As I have loved you,”.
Most of us are pretty good in the love department and think it’s a pretty good idea.
But Jesus doesn’t say to love any old way. But rather His Way—Just like He did.
Just like a Cross.
We can die loving His way.
Loving His way is not safe.
But that’s His command…
…and it’s a non-negotiable command for those who choose to follow.
The late Harry Denman was once asked by a young person, “What is the new birth?”
Denman replied: “When you are born a person you have a physical birth and you love as a person loves which can be very, very selfish at times.
When you are born of the Lord you have a spiritual birth and you love as God loves.
That is what we call redemptive love.
That is what Jesus did, He lived a redemptive life.
He gave Himself.”
Jesus had lots of choices.
Look how He made them.
He chose persons over property.
He chose God instead of self.
He came to minister instead of having others minister to Him.
He took a towel and a basin.
He took a child instead of a rich young ruler.
Of course He loved the rich young ruler, but the rich young ruler loved self.
He sought the unsought.
He loved the unlovely.
He wanted the unwanted.
He came not to judge but to save.
Jesus came to make love known, and when He left the earth in the flesh He sent the Holy Spirit to give us power to love all persons.
Are we using this power?
Tina Turner has a song which came out several years ago called “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 but a sweet old fashioned notion”
Love may not have anything to do with the often mean and selfish world,
but when it comes to Jesus Christ, and being one of His followers—love has everything to do with it!!!
We are immersed in a culture that has largely given up on God, and our credibility as Christians is based on our ability to be and produce disciples who love as Jesus loved.
Jesus says that the only way others will know we are disciples is to the extent that His love has a place in all we say and do.
“By this,” he says, “others will know.”
This entails more than getting the liturgy right each week or listening to a preacher hand down helpful spiritual advice.
It means knowing intimately the teachings of Jesus and taking them on the road!
It means living Jesus’ way in a culture that wants to kill Him again.
It means loving not when we feel like it or on our own terms, but as He did, in all things.
So here we have it.
Jesus Christ lays down what He wishes to be the distinguishing mark of His people—“As I have loved, so you must love one another.”
A great Methodist evangelist once said: “Love has to be seen….If people do not see the love of Christ in us, I am not sure that we are followers of Christ. I am not sure we know Him….”
Do we know Him?
In Matthew chapter 7 Jesus makes this statement: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”
Does our faith cause us to proclaim with the apostle Paul: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.”?
Do we allow the evil spirit of discrimination taint who we reach out to or do we strive to see every person as one Whom Christ loves, and every sinner in the light of who he or she might become?
John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Movement, wrote about and preached about and lived love.