Jesus commands us to love one another. This is not a suggestion, and it is a witness to the world around us. How often people can hold grudges against one another and gossip about those they are supposed to love. This is a poor witness to the world, friends. Love does so much more than just demonstrate care. It changes us and those around us. Let’s love one another sacrificially and passionately so the world wants in on this kind of love.
Bible Reading of the Day: John 13-14
The Scripture today is so fitting for me. This past weekend I had the blessing of washing and massaging my mother-in-law’s feet. The hour is near for her departure and the sweet time we had together sharing God’s word was precious. She knows her time is near and sees things clearly.
Jesus knew His time was near when He washed His disciple’s feet. Near the end of someone’s life, the final words and actions are worth paying attention to. So what is it with the washing of feet? Why was this one of the final things Jesus did with His disciples?
Love Does—Even When it is a Dirty Task.
Washing feet during biblical times was part of the culture. People wore sandals more often than not, and the dirty roads got people’s feet quite dirty. It was a common custom of hospitality to wash people’s feet when they visited your home, but it was often done by a slave.
Jesus showed the disciples how to love one another and how to serve one another. Humbly. Sacrificially.
“Further, when Jesus washed the disciples’ feet, He told them (and us), “I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you” (John 13:15). As His followers, we are to emulate Him, serving one another in lowliness of heart and mind, seeking to build one another up in humility and love. When we seek the preeminence, we displease the Lord who promised that true greatness in His kingdom is attained by those with a servant’s heart (Mark 9:35; 10:44). When we have that servant’s heart, the Lord promised, we will be greatly blessed (John 13:17).”
Love Does—Serving one another
“14 So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done for you.
16 “Truly I tell you, a servant is not greater than his master, and a messenger is not greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.”
I think we can hear the word love and the world takes that word and twists it, but we can say it without much care and thought. We want others to love and take care of us, but Christ is saying we all need to have the attitude of serving one another, not being served.
Notice that it is not just knowing these things but DOING these things that exemplify love. Love is action.
Love Does—Loving One Another
Today’s reading has a special emphasis on love. How we are to love one another.
John 13:1, “Before the Passover Festival, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.”
I think sometimes we can get lulled into everyday life and feel like our end is far off in the future. We don’t live as intentionally that way.
John 13:3, “3 Jesus knew that the Father had given everything into his hands, that he had come from God, and that he was going back to God.”
Friends, the time is short. We don’t know when our life will end, but each day is a gift. Even if we are struggling. Life is precious. Time is flying. Don’t waste a day. Love and cherish those you have in your life. Don’t let this world’s troubles distract you from what matters most.
Jesus does not just suggest we be nice to one another and love one another. He commands it.
Scripture of the Day: John 13:34-35
“34 So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. 35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
Friends, love one another deeply, authentically. Let go of grudges, resentment and bitterness. Life is flying by. Be intentional.
Love Does—Loving God
Jesus also instructs us to love Him. Who wouldn’t want to, right? He has given us everything!!! And yet, because love can become like a token word in our culture, we can mouth the words, but not do those words. So Jesus reminds us a few times of what love looks like.
“15 If you love me, you will keep my commands.”
“21 The one who has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. And the one who loves me will be loved by my Father. I also will love him and will reveal myself to him.”
“23 Jesus answered, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 The one who doesn’t love me will not keep my words. The word that you hear is not mine but is from the Father who sent me.”
Did you catch the word, “keep”? Three times. Those who love God will keep His commands. They will keep His word.
Love Does—Even When it is Hard
Jesus’ final words in this special moment remind us to keep focused be Kingdom-minded. Don’t let troubles distract us.
“27 “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Don’t let your heart be troubled or fearful. 28 You have heard me tell you, ‘I am going away and I am coming to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. 29 I have told you now before it happens so that when it does happen you may believe. 30 I will not talk with you much longer, because the ruler of the world is coming. He has no power over me. 31 On the contrary, so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do as the Father commanded me.”
The words, “Do not be troubled” appear at least 24 times in Scripture, two of those times in these chapters we read today.
John 14:1, “Don’t let your heart be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.”
Friends, the troubles and the drama of this world distract us from the mission Christ gave us. We will suffer in this world. Physically, emotionally, spiritually. Don’t let those things become your focus. Remember what Jesus said and let’s keep our eyes on the prize.
How We Love Impacts Others
Recently my husband and I got to share the Gospel with someone and were saddened to realize he had not accepted Jesus largely because of the way he saw Christians treat one another. At least this was the excuse. As we dug deeper, there were other reasons and perhaps the way Christians treated one another was a scapegoat, but it was part of the reason why he could not accept Christ.
Is there someone you need to forgive today and demonstrate love to? Do it, friends. Tomorrow is not promised. Don’t be angry with people because they have not treated you the way you think you deserve. This is the wrong attitude. Love others fiercely and faithfully. Serve with joy. Maybe wash someone’s feet today who really needs it.
- Love one another fiercely so the world can know God.
- Let’s not be a stumbling block that keeps someone from believing in Jesus because we don’t love one another.
- It is not just knowing God’s commands but DOING His commands that exemplifies love. Love is action.
7-Fold One-Year Bible Reading Plan
Day #237: John 13-14
Scripture of the Day: John 13:34-35
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