Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Can you love like He did? John 13:31-35?

Jesus came on purpose--to die and rise.
On the way to His cross and resurrection Jesus taught, healed, and called others to follow in his ways. The center of following Jesus is a very straight-forward sounding command: love αγαπάω agapao one another. It sounds simple--but for a sinner like me--loving like Jesus, giving the very core of your being away, involves a change of character that begins with repentence and the ammendment of life. Selfish ways end in order that Christ like way begin.

Jesus called his followers to a self giving kind of love (John 13:34). Jesus' words echo backwards to Leviticus 19:18. His words looked forward too for the church. He showed his followers how to serve others the same evening He took of his cloak, wrapped himself in a towel and knelt down like a servant to wash his disciple's feet (John 13:3-17). Jesus was then and is now turning the world's order of greatest and least completely over. The greatest of all in Jesus' mind are the servants not the served.

Loving like Jesus means serving and honoring those around us--not just seeking for our own good. Serving like Jesus means humility. Loving like Jesus involves sacrifice of the self for the sake of an other person's good. Jesus' words here make the most sense to those who know the power of the cross and resurrection. Jesus' cross is the ultimate example of αγαπάω agapao self giving love.

Jesus' resurrection is the ultimate outcome of God's self-giving love. God's self-giving love is the basis of new hope and new life. It's agape love that can overcome hate and destruction. Its agape love that always sees the child of God even in our enemies. It's agape love that holds onto hope for all God's children no matter how far gone they might appear.

The cross deserves central place in our consideration of how to live out Jesus' call to love one another as he has loved us. These words call us into to lose ourselves and live on in Christ.
thanks for reading, Pax, John

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