How Do You Love?
“I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” —John 13:15
John 13 begins with the words, “Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world.” He knew the importance of the hour, and the closing window of opportunity He had with His disciples.
As such, John records: “Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end” (John 13:1).
Jesus stood up from “the last supper” and shockingly stooped to serve His disciples, washing their feet. This was the task of the lowliest of servants. The sight of Jesus humbling Himself to this task was so unsettling, one of the disciples, Peter, begged, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
Indeed He was, and when He’d finished, Jesus uttered the words that make up this week’s verse, “I have set you an example.”
The example wasn’t the act of foot–washing…it was love.
As the hour neared for Jesus to be arrested, tried, and crucified, the message the Lord wanted to deeply engrain into His followers was to love one another.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34-35).
This is more than a suggestion, Jesus gave His followers a new command—love. And Jesus also qualified this command by saying the world would see our love for others, and, by it, recognize us as His followers.
Think about this for a moment: Jesus said the world is right to judge the genuineness of our Christian faith by whether or not they see His love in us.
What is the quality of your love for others? How—in what ways—is that love visible and tangible?
My prayer for this week:
Lord, open my eyes this week to the manner in which I love others. Do I love as if it’s a command or a suggestion? Practically, how is my love expressed? How often do I serve others? Put others first? Put others’ needs before my own? Follow your example? Please bring this verse to mind often this week. Help it spur me on to love.