Love is an action word
31 As soon as Judas left the room, Jesus said, “The time has come for the Son of Man to enter into his glory, and God will be glorified because of him. 32 And since God receives glory because of the Son, he will give his own glory to the Son, and he will do so at once. 33 Dear children, I will be with you only a little longer. And as I told the Jewish leaders, you will search for me, but you can’t come where I am going. 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.” John 13:31-35
Scripture says that as soon as Judas left the upper room, Jesus immediately spoke to the disciples, not about Judas’s upcoming betrayal, but about the glorification of God that would come about through his crucifixion and resurrection. Jesus would be glorified by his obedience to the Father. Knowing his time with the disciples was drawing short, Jesus prepares them for the time when they will be without him. He uses a term of endearment for these faithful followers of his…Dear children… like a loving parent preparing to leave a child. There is time for one more commandment, one that is centered on love, his love for them, their love for each other and ultimately, love that will overflow from the group of 11 and spread throughout the world. This command to love was not just for the disciples, but for every individual that heard the name of Jesus. This command to love is as pure and simple today as it was 2000 years ago. We love because he loved us! We love as he loved, unconditionally, without reservation, without judgement. The kind of love that Jesus lived was self-abandoning and self-sacrificing, putting others first. This kind of love is action! When we show this kind of love to others, we are showing them Jesus…alive in us!
Heavenly Father, ‘love’ is a word that is often carelessly used in print, social media, and speech. And yet when we understand how Jesus used the word ‘love’, we see a word that has the power to change hearts, communities and the world at large. The old phrase, ‘Actions speak louder than words’ is true! Help us, through our actions, to show love to our families, our neighbors and our communities. Through the power of your Holy Spirit, help us to love others as Jesus loved us. Thank you, Jesus, for showing us how! Amen Paneen Froneberger
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