February 7 – A New Commandment

Thursday, February 7, 2013

February 7 – A New Commandment

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34-35).

Jesus said “As I have loved you, so you must love …” We know he loved and gave his life because of love, but in the day to day events that occurred, Jesus loved like we can’t imagine.  The other day, he loved the young man who walked away.  That didn't stop Jesus from loving him.  He loved the Pharisees who constantly harassed him and accused him of committing sins.  Then, he loved those same Pharisees who plotted to have him killed.

Jesus loved Lazarus and his sisters Mary and Martha.  He loved his disciples.  Matthew was a hated tax collector.  Jesus loved him.  James and his brother John were a little arrogant. Jesus loved them.  Simon was a Zealot, a member of a group who were more than a little violent in the manner in which they attempted to pull Israel back from the Roman Empire.  Jesus loved him.  Peter was always sticking his nose into things that Jesus had covered. Jesus loved him.  The Roman centurion whose son was dying. Jesus loved him.  The woman from Magdala whose sins were so great she was about to be stoned. Jesus loved her.  Paul, who spent part of his adult life as an organizer of persecutions against Christians. Jesus loved him.  The man filled with demons and those pitifully unhealthy people who needed to be healed and sometimes didn't even bother to thank Jesus – he loved them.

Jesus loved in active ways. He showed his love.  It wasn't passive. But, more than anything, he loved.

He asks us to love in that same manner.  The co-worker who is always late and who expects us to cover for him and is snotty about it, to boot.  The woman who shoves ahead in the checkout line, the kid who drives around you and flips you off, even if you’re driving the speed limit, the person who had to say negative things no matter what is going on, the customer who complains … there are so many people who don’t deserve love according to society, but whom we are commanded to love, just as if Jesus were loving them.

It’s a little hard to remember them all when we’re busy with our lives, so maybe the best thing to do is love everyone. All the time.