“So, when he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in Him. If God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and glorify Him immediately. Little children, I shall be with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come,’ so now I say to you. A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.””
John 13:31-35 NKJV
Love one another
His time was near, as Judas, the political disciple, had gone out to betray the Lord of glory. Jesus sat with those that remained, the faithful ones who were there and understand the ministry He had shared with them for three and a half years.
Jesus knew that He would soon endure all that He had been ordained to experience, and that He would soon return to Heaven and HIs place at the right hand of the Father. These were the last moments in human flesh where He would be with His friends, for after the cross Jesus would be glorified.
Of all the messages He could leave them, Jesus felt it best to admonish them to love one another. In the coming days, they would be stripped of all things, as they would be known as having been with Jesus. They would be of no reputation and would be new men. In the coming days, they would need that love for one another.
This was not common love, but one empowered by their uniting faith in Jesus. In many ways He was preparing them for an even greater love, agape love, that love that comes by the power of the Holy Spirit. In the days after the cross they were going to need that Love, for they would have only each other, as many of them would be forsaken by family and friends.
After the cross, those who were the beloved of Jesus gathered together, locked away and fearful, but each buoyed by the memories of their Savior, and I am sure each could remed er that last night, last supper and those last words where told them to love one another and He had loved them.
When He had risen, there must have been great joy, for the had His presence once again with them, just as He said. Jesus gave them His final commands and instructions, for soon He would ascend and be gone.
“And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.””
Acts 1:4-5 NKJV
Living as a Christian in this world requires great love between those who call upon the Name of the Lord. Even today, nearly two thousand years on, the church of Jesus Christ faces great opposition, that seems to be increasing exponentially with each passing year. Persecution of believers is at a all time high, reaching genocidal levels, as the evil one is seeking to eliminate the Gospel from the face of the earth.
Facing all that we are, and all that we will, we will need to love one another like never before. In many ways, we will be like the church of the first century wrestling with opposition from within and without, doing battle with those who have the faith for which we have given our lives, and those who have been given over to false teachings.
In those times, we will need to lean on the truth of God’s word, the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, constant, conscious, contact with our creator through prayer, and the fellowship of the saints.
“Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.”
Acts 2:44-47 NKJV
Brothers and sisters, as we walk through this Holy Week, may we consider the love that we have for one another.
We here in America have not yet experienced the persecution that has befallen our brothers and sisters, but we will.
Sadly the respite that we have enjoyed is due to our lack of actively doing the work of sharing the Gospel, as too many of us have gone the way of Judas Iscariot having been caught up in politics.
Circumstances are changing, and we will turn our hearts to the sharing of the Good News.
Let us be known by our love. Let us ask the Lord to give us a burden for the lost, and desire to go and tell. May we be so loving, that those caught up in the pain of prolonged sin, be drawn to the loving grace of our Savior as demonstrated by how we treat each other.
“By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.”
I John 3:16-18 NKJV
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