“My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come. A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
While He Is Away
“There is a list of chores on the refrigerator,” says mom to the kids as she rushes out of the house on the way to work. “I expect them to be finished when I get home.” Although she is not with her children that day, her instructions are.
Jesus knew he was going away. He was soon going to return to his rightful place at his Father’s side in heaven. He wanted his disciples to know what he wanted them to be doing while he was away. He wanted them to love one another.
It would not be easy. Jesus’ disciples were sinful men—men filled with selfishness and pride, both of which are the enemies of love.
It is still not easy. Jesus’ disciples, including you and me, are still filled with selfishness and pride. Our selfishness screams at us to serve our own needs rather than others. Our pride proclaims that we are better than those around us and so they don’t deserve our love.
But then we look at Jesus. We see him hanging on a cross our sins deserve. We see him serving those who didn’t deserve a lick of his love. And, witnessing what he has done to save us from our sins and serving us in spite of those sins, we are transformed. We are empowered to serve selflessly—even those who do not deserve it. And, suddenly, we find ourselves carrying out his command, doing what he wants us to be doing while he is away—loving one another.
Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for your selfless sacrifice and service. May they be my motivation to carry out your command. Let me love those you bring into my life this day. Amen.