“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13:34-35
The Jewish people were used to living under a long list of rules and regulations, some handed down by God (and some invented by man.) These laws distinguished them from other nations as they lived in a different way.
They had rules about eating, about caring for the sick, about cleaning mildew from their walls. I’m thinking it’s a safe bet that most other people groups looked at the Hebrew to-do list and shook their heads.
But then, Jesus came.
One word was all He brought: love.
Just four letters to us, but it came with an asterisk. It couldn’t be our definition of love. We’re human, and we want to pick and choose! We want to put conditions on it. But that isn’t what He says.
Just as I have loved you.
Unconditionally. Unselfishly. Unreservedly.
This is how we will be known by others – not the cut of our clothes or our hair, not how often we wash our hands, and not even how often we attend religious services. Because, you see, all those things are external. God wants to do a change in us that begins on the inside and shines to the outside. We can only love like Jesus if we have a change where no one else sees.
I’m checking my reality today. Do I love on my terms, or on His. Loving like my Savior is the only way to point others to Him.