John – God Speaks!
The picture of love is so shallow in worldly thinking. The world flaunts sex more than true love, romance (love with conditions) more than lasting love, is always about self and comes at a price many cannot afford to lose. Many work hard at getting people to love them by doing things to “buy” their love. Jewelers tell worldly lovers that she/he deserves the expression of your love by buying their product. “You need to do this so she/he will know you love her/him. Yes, love is advertised as what it will do for self and how it will make you feel to love.
The world says, “IF you really loved me, you would____.” This is love with strong conditions. When you supply what they say they need, the conditions change and you must jump a new hoop to gain their love. Yes, love in our world is not the kind of love Jesus lived by example. The love Jesus showed the world was rooted in God’s supreme love for us. “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
We see God’s love as GIVING more than taking. God’s love expressed through Jesus, His Son, is giving all so that others may live forever. God’s best for us. God loved us first so we would love Him back. No conditions. God’s love is eternal and never changes. When we receive the heart of this love our thinking and behavior automatically begins to change but HIS love never changes.
In this chapter we find a profoundly different kind of love. Jesus began his last meal with his disciples by showing the full extent of his love. Jesus took off his robe that signified he was the Master Teacher, the head of the Table, and bent down as a servant would do, to wash the feet of ALL
his disciples…even the one who, full of the devil’s influence, would betray him. “…since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.” So we see that real love SERVES those we say we love.
In this next passage, Jesus reiterates HIS kind of love. “Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.” Do we grasp the extent of Jesus’ love? Do we love like HE loved us?
John 13, New Living Translation
Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial
31 As soon as Judas left the room, Jesus said, “The time has come for the Son of Man to enter into his glory, and God will be glorified because of him. 32 And since God receives glory because of the Son, he will give his own glory to the Son, and he will do so at once. 33 Dear children, I will be with you only a little longer. And as I told the Jewish leaders, you will search for me, but you can’t come where I am going. 34 So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. 35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
36 Simon Peter asked, “Lord, where are you going?”
And Jesus replied, “You can’t go with me now, but you will follow me later.”
37 “But why can’t I come now, Lord?” he asked. “I’m ready to die for you.”
38 Jesus answered, “Die for me? I tell you the truth, Peter—before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.
THINK ABOUT IT
Peter loved Jesus well and Jesus knew the depth of Peter’s love for Him. But Jesus also knew Peter’s personality of acting without thinking. He tells Peter exactly what will happen because Jesus loves and knows Peter well. This is a depth of love we often do not realize, too. Knowing and still loving. Judas did not love Jesus, he loved himself. Peter loved Jesus more than self, made a mistake in judgement, repented and Jesus forgave him. There is the HUGE difference in the attitude of these men. One was regretful the other remorseful.
One of the best descriptions of the love Jesus wants us to have for each other is found in Paul’s letter to the Philippians:
“Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? 2 Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.
3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
6 Though he was God,
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
7 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
he took the humble position of a slave
and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,
8 he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
9 Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor
and gave him the name above all other names,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father. (Phil 2)
We begin to see love as an attitude to be lived out loud to all we know and say we love…without conditions. Self takes a backseat.
Paul goes deeper in telling us how to live and love like Jesus in that same letter:
“Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. 13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.
14 Do everything without complaining and arguing, 15 so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. 16 Hold firmly to the word of life…” (Phil 2)
LOVE like Jesus. SHINE His light of love to the world. You will find that others seeking truth will be drawn to this love in you.
LOVE as if your life depended on it. Love without conditions.
LOVE everyone, even those who despise you and say bad things about you. God will sort them/us out later.
Just LOVE, In Jesus Name, Amen