“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35 NIV
This morning thousands of doctors, nurses, and medical personnel went into work. Albeit, clad in masks and gloves, they showed up to serve people sick with the Covid-19 virus, and many other contageous illnesses.
It wasn’t until I went with my mother every other week for chemotherapy, that I came to deeply appreciate the care of nurses. They served my mother ( and me ) throughout her cancer treatment. Their concern for all their patients was genuine and sacrificial. I witnessed them cry with patients who were told their treatment wasn’t effective. And when my mother was given the good news her cancer was gone, they celebrated with us. Their love was palpable.
One of Jesus’ final commands to his followers was to love one another. He went on to say, their love for one another would identify them as his disciples. Earlier in his ministry, Jesus said the greatest commandments – two on which all the law and prophets hung (Matthew 22:40 NIV) – were to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind; and to love one another as yourself.
But in order for everyone to know they were his disciples, this time Jesus qualified the way his followers were to love one another. He said, “As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
How did Jesus love them?
During the three years of his ministry, Jesus welcomed the outcast and brokenhearted. He ate with those who were socially unwelcome. He fed thousands miraculously. He had compassion on widows and children. He healed lame, lepers, and the disfigured. He raised a daughter, a son, a friend back from the dead, restoring families. Jesus held people, he touched them.
And to those who crucified Jesus on the cross, Jesus’ last words were, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34 NIV
Jesus’ kind of love is patient, kind, humble, it always protects, always trusts, always hopes. As Christ-followers, we are to be examples of Jesus’ kind of love. (I Corinthians 13)
While others fear, let us be the ones offering hope. While others suffer, let us be the ones giving comfort. While others are isolated, let us be the ones extending love.
By this everyone will know we are Jesus’ disciples.
Note: I thank all the nurses, doctors, and medical service personnel for your care, your love, and your perseverance during this time. I’m praying for you all. NicoleLisa