Posts Tagged John 15: 17

Commanding Presence

John 15: 17

This I command you, that you love one another.

I may have mistyped today’s verse. Shouldn’t that read, “I encourage you to love one another” or “I suggest you love one another?” And yet, I looked it up in a bunch of translations and all of them say “command.” What happened to the gentle, kind Jesus or is it that we sometimes forget he is Lord?

Good things flow to us when we obey the Lord and he always has our best interests at heart. However, it seems to me that his giving us a command ought to be reason enough to do it. Where does reasoning fit in? Is there any room to question this directive?

Jesus is our big brother and our best friend. That does not negate his lordship though and I think we sometimes forget that he is Lord and king. We have been given a high status in the kingdom of God and we praise God for that but it would not hurt us to revisit Jesus as Lord. We worship him but lordship also demands obedience. Every word out of Jesus’ mouth is to be obeyed. I can tell you that his words are life and that it serves you well to obey him for that reason but I do not wish for us to lose sight of Jesus as Lord and master.

Every knee will bow before the Lord Jesus. He is to be lifted up. Yes, talk to him as your big brother. Giggle with him as your best friend but also praise him, worship him and above all obey him because he is Lord and because he is worthy. He takes his responsibility seriously and we are wise to remember that we owe him service and obedience.

Do You Love Me?

John 15: 17

This I command you, that you love one another.

If you knew me would you still love me? My definition of a friend is “someone who knows you and still likes you”. Sometimes we become acquainted with someone but then when we find a blemish on their armor or find that they have needs as well as strengths, we abandon that friendship.

One of our problems is that we make judgments about people based on these perceived faults. Well, when you began becoming friends with them, did you think they were perfect? There has only been one perfect. So discovering that a person is flawed really shouldn’t be such a big surprise.

Our response to these pronounced judgments is to hide away our true selves. Hence my question, “If you knew the real me, would you still love me?” Well, I know how Jesus answers that question and it is probably why we love him so much. He sees us for who we truly are complete with all of our emotional baggage, scars and our faults and yet loves us anyway. In fact, he knew all of my short comings before he went to the cross and seeing my damage chose to go to the cross anyway. Now that is a friend indeed.

Now Jesus directs us. He has said, “Do not judge” (Matthew 7: 1). Instead he commands us to love one another. I don’t see an easy way around these two imperatives. Do you? We are very good at determining what is good and what is bad but remember, that is the fruit of the tree we were never supposed to eat from (see Genesis 3: 2 – 4). Eating the fruit of that tree is what yielded the curse and it is still producing misfortune and torment in our lives today.

We do not need to agree with each other’s politics or even religious views but we do have to accept one another. We have not been appointed to determine who is good and who is bad, who gets into heaven and who does not. Our job is but to love. Period, end of story. Now, if we could really get a revelation of that, we would transform the world.