By This All Men Will Know...

"By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another" John 13:35

What is a disciple? What characterizes, differentiates, identifies, and defines Christians? What are we known for? I know a lot of generalizations, false statistics, and self-depreciating comments on this subject get thrown around in the church (to get a good perspective, read this). However, I still want to ask if we have taken John 13:35 seriously enough. 

The question isn't whether or not we are known best for our love. Good question, but not one for this post.

The question isn't whether or not we are the most loving. That is not even a good question. 

The question is whether or not this command from Jesus has penetrated our theology, our understanding of mission, the life of our church, or our own life.

Read the passage in John 13 again. 'A new command, to love one another (fellow disciples), to love them as as Christ loved them.'

Paul understood. Look at Galatians 6:10 "Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers."  

'Let us do good to all people, especially our fellow disciples. '

This, says Jesus, is how we are to be identified. This is our best form of evangelism. This is our mission. Not to exclude those who are not disciples, nor to love them less, but love our fellow disciples more. To take special care to do good to them. 

The question is whether or not this truth is reflected in your organization. Do you sacrifice fellow disciples on the altar of evangelism? Working them to exhaustion in the name of the great commission? Do you put so many of your resources into other things (whatever they are) that you have no ability to actively, energetically, and fully love your fellow disciples? If so, you have not applied or understood Jesus words. 

The next time you have decisions to make, plans to outline, resources to allocate, or just another day of your life to live, think about these things. 

(This post was inspired by Greg Sidders The Invitaiton)

1 comment:

Amelia said...

Thanks, Andrew, for this. You encouraged me.