A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
Jesus had just washed His disciples’ feet and given them an example to follow. He, the King of kings and Lord of lords, had stooped low to do a servant’s task. And He told them that they should do as He had done. Now He gives them this commandment, and the demonstration was soon to follow. As Jesus endured the scourging, bearing His cross, being nailed to it and lifted up to die, He showed what true love is.
Love is not a feeling or a sentiment. It’s not just a word that we say. It’s the laying down of a life for another’s sake. It’s giving something that is not deserved. And that’s what makes the love of Christ so powerful. His death is the proof of God’s love for us. And so we, as His followers, are to exemplify His love to those around us, because that is what marks us as belonging to Him.
The motivation and the root of our service to one another springs from the love of Christ dwelling in us. It comes forth from us when we recognize the magnitude of what it means that Jesus gave His life for our sakes, that He was willing to go to that extreme. Anything we’ll do out of love is so small in comparison to that, but those tangible, demonstrable things we do point back to Jesus and the ways He shows His love to us.
The goal of believers in Christ is not to gain something, but to become something. We’ve already received the greatest gift we could ever get. And then our lives are to be spent becoming like Christ. It starts with demonstrating love in a real way like He did. It requires a servant’s heart and a compassionate spirit. It takes a willingness to be gracious and kind and selfless. It’s a high calling that Jesus has called us to. It’s a command He has given us to love like He has loved us. So how are we demonstrating His love to those around us?