Love One Another
If you knew you had only hours to live, what would you tell the ones who would be left behind? What if you knew that your death would shake them to their core? What words would ever be enough?
In the Gospels this week, we come to the Last Supper and the last things that Jesus says to the apostles before He is arrested.Jesus gives them instruction, consolation, promises, and commands, plus a very generous promise that the Holy Spirit will come and remind them of all He is telling them. I know I would have really appreciated the reminder part!
So what does Jesus say? In summary:
If you love me, you love my Father. If you love me, you will keep my words. They bring life. If you love me you would rejoice at what is coming because it is God's plan.(They don't do so well on this one at first, but after Pentecost, as we've seen, they're singing in the prisons with joy in being able to suffer for Jesus.)
I love you. Love one another the same way - that means laying down your life for each other. That's how you will bear fruit that remains.(Jesus literally gave His life for us. We may never be asked to give so drastically, but we can give our lives in so many other ways. How will you give your life today?)
Finally, this one is so important that Jesus makes it a command: "Love one another."
If you think about what was about to happen and then what happened after Pentecost, you can see why this part was so vital.
All the knowledge and understanding in the world would be useless without the apostles support for each other. Twelve lone wolves out preaching whatever they feel is right without the prayer, support, and wisdom of the rest would never have gotten very far. Our salvation came through love. Immense love. How could it not need to be centered there to bear great fruit?
The apostles will have to endure many persecutions and hardships in the coming years. It only makes sense. But none of this suffering will be in vain. None of it will be without grace. All of it will be for love. They need to be ready.
Read it here: John 14:21-15:21