Now, Jesus could have said something other. But, he didn’t. I mean, he could have spoken words of judgment against them for their ineptness. He knows that they would be fleeing in the dark soon. Instead, he commands them. Get out there and love each other! Note that this wasn’t just a suggestion. His words weren’t shrouded in a mysterious parable that they needed to put their heads together to figure it out. Is there anyone reading this who doesn’t understand his commandment?
In Luke’s gospel, Jesus tells us to love our neighbors. In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus tells us to love the stranger, the prisoner, the hungry, and the naked. Here, in John’s gospel, Jesus commands us to love those in his inner circle. That means you and me…the people in the church. Maybe it is more of a challenge to love the people closest to us? Actions speak louder than words, we are told. Jesus makes it clear…People will know we are Christians not by our ability to recite the Bible or expound on certain creeds; it’s how we act toward each other in the church.
I know that we all would do anything for our families. They are our blood, after all. Can we love someone who is related to us by the blood of Jesus? That’s the question. Or more accurately, that’s the commandment. Peace, Pastor Gary