The life, testimony, ministry, and teachings of one Jesus from Nazareth
Last week we saw the humility of Christ and how He displayed that humbleness by performing one of the most menial tasks of that era. Now we’re going to look at the first teaching Jesus imparted during this rich Upper Room Discourse. The topic—divine love.
It seems fitting that the first subject Jesus covered during this final training session would be love. For, the reason behind everything Jesus said, did, and was about to do was because of His unfathomable love for us. Love was the reason that Christ even came to earth. Therefore it should be no surprise that the new commandment He gave to His disciples was to love one another, for that was the entire purpose of His life—to love, and to display that love through ultimate sacrifice.
This is also a timely topic for us, as we head into the over-commercialized celebration of love called Valentine’s Day. However, the world’s understanding of love vastly differs from God’s definition. The world says love is a feeling, but God tells us that it is a choice. This is why Jesus gave us this new command because love is not merely an emotion, but a choice put into action. And how are we commanded to love? Just as Christ has loved us. Wow, that’s an extremely high standard! For Jesus, being fully God, loved perfectly, unconditionally, and completely. His love brought Him to this broken world where He took on human flesh, became part of His creation, and then went to the cross where He paid the price for sin which He did not commit. This is divine, agape love. And this is the type of love we are commanded to extend towards others.
So this week’s question is…will you choose to love as Christ loved you? And will you give it unconditionally and genuinely as your Savior did? Will you obey the new commandment Jesus set before you?
Love is not only a requirement for Christians, but should also be their defining quality. We will stand out from our culture ravaged by sin and plagued with selfishness, if we love with a love not of this world. As Jesus said, mankind will identify us as followers of Him by our agape love, which is so different from what they see and know. Therefore, let’s be people recognized for their incomprehensible love, so that through it we may point others to the One who first loved us.
"By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”