12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another.
There is a story that when the apostle John was old, he could not speak too much when he came out to preach, and he always said, “You must love one another. As the Lord loves us, so we should love one another!”
In the Gospel of John, the night before the crucifixion, the Lord Jesus mentioned this new command twice, that is also the Lord’s command!
The disciple John mentioned loving one another five times in 1 John! This command was deeply engraved in John’s heart. He also devoted his life to helping brothers and sisters love each other! When he is old, he still firmly remembers the Lord’s command and exhorts us to love each other! This love is not the love between friends in this world, but the love from the Son of God! He called us friends, he died for us, and he longed for us to understand him.
It is easy to love each other with some brothers and sisters who are very compatible with each other, but it is extremely difficult to love each other with some brothers and sisters who have hurt you, misunderstood you, or even betrayed you! Professional counseling or any scholar’s advice won’t be able to ease the relationship. Only when the Holy Spirit shows us the love of Christ on the cross and enlightens us on this Lord’s commandment, then we understand how we can love one another as He loves us! We can truly live out loving each other. The love of the cross is indeed greater than the differences, frictions, quarrels, and misunderstandings between our brothers and sisters!
Only when we truly obey the Lord’s command, love each other with the love that the Lord Jesus loves for us, and carry the cross to follow the Lord, can we truly understand the love of the cross!
Yes! When we obey the Lord’s commands, we truly are His friends, truly understand what He has experienced for us, and truly love whom He loves! And the love of Christ is manifested when we love one another as He loves us!
Lord, You know our weaknesses, shortcomings, failures, and difficulties! Thank you for accepting us as we are! You still love us with your undying love! Please forgive me for only loving those I like but ignoring many that I can’t love! Teach us to truly love everyone you love! As you love us, teach us how to love each other! To accept and forgive, to love every brother and sister! May your heart be satisfied because of our love for each other as You love us!