John 13:14-15, 34-35 (ESV) “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.”
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
These two passages in John 13 stuck out to me recently. Jesus calls us to radical, sacrificial, authentic love for one another in the Body! This word that Jesus uses and the Apostle John writes down is the Greek word, Agapé, that many of us know. It is a holy and divine love. In my opinion, Agapé love needs God’s empowerment to be expressed. When I think about this kind of love, it is an active choice to love, and in many ways I think it is “work” that is brought to life by Holy Spirit’s power.
God loves us unconditionally, and His love is pure and holy. Because of His love, we change. Because of His love, we have the capability to love one another. We are to love each other in the Body as Christ loves us with Agapé love. Who we are in God as His sons and daughters, as LOVED children, is how we can turn around and behave, act, work, and express love. Our love for each other in the Body is transforming us into the image and expression of Christ in the world. In the Church we understand that faith NEEDS works, and works without faith are nothing but noise. This sacrificial Agapé work takes practice, patience, forgiveness, learning & growing, and it takes authentically living in the community of the Body of Christ.
Why do we go through all that hard stuff to love one another? Because it is worth it! “… all people will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.” (emphasis added) Loving each other in the Body is commanded by God so that the world can see through our struggles, our patience, our trials, our forgiveness, through learning how to love each other better in the Church, how much God loves the world.
Today, pray and ask God what this love looks like that God has called us to express in the Body!
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