Resurrection People 4

Posted by Fr. Tere on 04/24/2016

JohnA new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13:34-35If then God gave the same gift to them as he gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God's way? Acts 11:17

It seems so difficult for those who are not Christians to understand what Jesus means here – it seems difficult, actually, for many Christians to catch this. Much of the problem is the limited understandings we have of the word love.

Looking at most of today’s culture, as shown in magazines, media, and especially in music, there is a search for love. Facebook is full of yearnings for love or at least hugs. And if you want some eye-openers, hit the Web. One quick search for “hookups” resulted in 13.4 MILLION hits (in .55 seconds, no less)! Hitting a top10 link brought up sites for Hookups, Affairs, LGBT, Fetish, and Webcams, with multiples under each of them (most of the names couldn’t be printed here). There are dating sites galore – for every city, every taste, every perversion. People are looking for love.

And some variant of the word is used 500 times in the Bible. In John’s Gospel, Jesus uses it 57 times, 45 of which are in the last 24 hours of his life (John 13-21). He focuses in like a laser on what is important in these few hours and that’s where we need to focus as well. He tells us to look for love in the right places, in him and in his Church. 45 times in 24 hours of teaching. This is important, and we need to pay some attention.

Then, today’s reading – in two sentences, a variant of love is used 4 times! 7% of the use in John. That makes these two important sentences. And they are in the context of the last supper – the gift of the Eucharist to the Church. Jesus had also washed the disciples’ feet and said the disciples should do likewise. Judas has just left, and Jesus said, Now I am glorified and God is glorified. Satan’s influence has left the room and only believers are left. To them Jesus said, Love one another… as I love you. And he gave this as a new commandment. The old law said to love God, and love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus says love one another – love my followers. Why? Because seeing the way you love one another everyone will be able to tell you are my followers.

Love one another so that all will know to whom you belong. This will show up to those outside the fellowship, because they can see what they have been looking for. It’s different. And, if we go ahead with the commandment, not only does the focus of our love (disciples) change, but also the intensity of our love changes. Now, instead of loving as we love ourselves, we are to love the disciples as Jesus loves us. That’s what will make the world take notice. That’s when they will know we are Christians by our love.

Since I’ll be talking more about this in the reflections today, I’ll just list a few verses to chew on. There is certainly enough for a healthy chaw!                                                   Pastor Tere

1 John 3 16-18 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers17 But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

1 John 3 23 And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.

1 John 4 7-12 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

1 John 4 18-19 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 19 We love because he first loved us.

1 John 5 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments

2 John 6 And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments.Dare to be a disciple

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