Todays readings… 2 Chronicles 12&13, Ezekiel 46, John 13&14
“THAT YOU LOVE FOR ONE ANOTHER AS I HAVE LOVED YOU”
What is love – that is love as Jesus means it – as he passionately teaches his disciples in the hours before his arrest? What thought challenging chapters we are reading in John’s gospel! John is inspired to record the words of Jesus in detail and they are a lifelong source of inspiration for us. In today’s ch.14 v.26, we read the promise of how John was able to do this.
Jesus challenges them – “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you …” [v.34] Jesus had set them the example of the kind of love he meant – his concern for them – his guidance – his compassion. The one disciple who did not deserve this, Judas Iscariot had earlier gone, “out. And it was night.” [v.30] Judas had heard earlier in his ministry how “Jesus spoke to them saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” [8 v.12] May we all have that “light”!
Jesus also knew that Peter’s faith would be severely challenged and told him the morning would not come “till you have denied me three times.” [13 v.38] When this happened Peter would realise the full reality of their premature declaration that we will read in John tomorrow, “Now we know that you know all things and do not need anyone to question you; this is why we believe that you came from God.” [16 v.30] That belief is the foundation – a foundation that we all must build upon.
Our building on this foundation will be especially important as we read the descriptions of the events which are to occur as our Master returns to earth, see for e.g. Luke 21 v.25-27. But then, after that “distress” Isaiah’s prophecy will be fulfilled.” to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder … Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end … to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness…” [9 v.6,7] To be there – will be the reward of those who respond, with all their hearts, to the “new commandment” of Jesus “that you love one another: just as I have loved you …”