That all will know
John 13:31-14:14 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
Therefore when he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in Him; 32 if God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and will glorify Him immediately. 33 Little children, I am with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ 34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
36 Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, where are You going?” Jesus answered, “Where I go, you cannot follow Me now; but you will follow later.” 37 Peter said to Him, “Lord, why can I not follow You right now? I will lay down my life for You.” 38 Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for Me? Truly, truly, I say to you, a rooster will not crow until you deny Me three times.
14 “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And you know the way where I am going.” 5 Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
7 If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.”
8 Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. 12 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.
Throughout His ministry Jesus spoke often about the importance of love. In Mark 12:30-31 He says: “you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” In Matthew 5:44 He says: “I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” The importance of love and the commandment to love were and are foundational to the message and the ministry of Christ. Yet in today’s text He says: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” How is this a new commandment? How does it differ from Jesus other commandments to love? The way we are to love is different. We are to love, even as Jesus loved. So it is not just a thing we decide or choose to do, but rather, love is to become integral to our very being and character. Love should be not so much what we do, but rather it should be, like Jesus, like God the Father, who we are. If we would love as Jesus loved, it is no longer a decision we make, but rather it is laying down our own will to the will of the Father. It is doing as Jesus did, only what the Father did and is doing. Perhaps even more important than how we are to love, is why we are to love. Jesus says: “… love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” The reason we are to love is not so that we will be loved in return, but so that all men will know we are His disciples.
There are two ways that this is very important to us, the church, the disciples of Christ today. First it explains in part why the world does not recognize the disciples of Christ in or as the church. The world sees a divided church, with divisions, dissensions and factions. It sees enmity and strife, jealousy anger and discord; not love. These things are not likely to make the world see us as disciples of Christ. Galatians 5:19-21 says: Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Again, we are to do as Jesus did, only what the Father was doing. We cannot do what He did or is doing if we are not of the same spirit. Galatians 5:16;22-24 says: I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh… the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. These, the fruit of the Spirit are the things, the character qualities that will cause the world to know that we are the disciples of Christ. In addition, if we are to love as Jesus loved; if we are to do what the Father did and is doing, then our love should be demonstrated the same way and seek the same result as the love of God and Christ. God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8) “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) The cross of Christ should be the demonstration of our love to the world, not that we participate in, condone, accept or tolerate sin, but that Jesus died for sin. If we love the world without pointing to the redemption and forgiveness of the cross, the world might love us in return. If we accept and tolerate sin, the world will accept and tolerate, even love us, but they will not know that we are Christ’s disciples and they will not know the reason for the demonstration of God’s love.
In today’s text Jesus says: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” He says: “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” Perhaps the greatest work that we are called and empowered to do for and through Christ is to love, even as He loved. The truth is we cannot love like that on our own. We can choose and decide to treat others well, even as Jesus said, to love them as we love ourselves. But to love as He loved, to truly demonstrate the love of God, we can only do in and through Him. He will do it. Yielding to the Holy Spirit, we point the world to the cross, where Jesus died for their sins. We cannot die for their sins. Jesus says: “I will do it.” For us to love as He did the world needs to know what He did.
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit; thank You for the demonstration of love; that Jesus died for my sins. Thank You that as You said You would do it, You did. Love is fully demonstrated in the finished work of the cross. Holy Spirit fill me, enable and empower me to love, even as Jesus loved; to point to the cross even as I walk in: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Help me to do the greatest work, to love, that all will know that I am Your disciple and that they will know Your love demonstrated in the cross, Jesus dying for their sins. Amen.