Fbcsreadthruthebible's Blog

Part of the FBCS 2010 Read Through the Bible Project: Enter the Story. Join the Song.

Just As . . .

John 13:21-38   2 Chronicles 19   Psalm 78:38-55

“Yet, he, being compassionate, forgave their iniquity” (Psalm 78:38). It is remarkable. The way God loves. Speaking “nevertheless” to Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 19:3) . . . feeding and forgiving an unfaithful people again, and again, and “yet” again; remembering “that they were but flesh” (Psalm 78:23,38,39) . . . handing a “piece of bread” to Judas (John 13:26) and willingly embracing the death Judas has gone to arrange as the time when the full glory of God’s love would be revealed . . . It is a remarkable story, indeed, the way God loves the world, and does so most completely in Jesus. And then, amazingly, there is this addition: 

“Love one another. Just as I have loved you” (John 13:34). Love. Commanded. Expected. Of us. And there is no ambiguity as to the nature and practice of this love: it is to be modeled after Jesus’ love for us. Which, in turn, is the incarnation of the love with which God has loved the world from the beginning. “Love one another. Just as” . . . So how (honestly) are we doing? Do we speak the language of “nevertheless” and “yet” to one another? Would Jesus recognize his love being lived out among us? Would anyone? These questions are important, for they address the core characteristic of the disciples’ life . . . 

“By this . . . if” (John 13:35). If we love one another “just as” Jesus loved us, everyone will know we are Jesus’ disciples. It cannot be said with any greater clarity. What remains is our obedient response. May we be the loving community of “little children” (John 13:33) we are commanded to be. And may everyone recognize us as Jesus’ disciples. For the sake of the world that God so remarkably loves. Amen. 

“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples.”
     — John 13:34,35


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