“Jesus’ love was one massive crescendo that never diminished. He loved to the end, the Lover of my soul.” ~ Charles R. Swindoll
The quality that distinctively sets apart believers as followers of Jesus is not a pithy bumper sticker or a fish emblem dangling from a necklace or a gilded dove pinned on the lapel. These are only symbols of our faith. The true mark of a Christian is love.
In John 13, Jesus gave His 11 true disciples a mandate that added a new dimension to the meaning of love. And this new dimension not only changes lives but, in a compelling way, shows the world we belong to Jesus.
Anticipating His followers’ insecurity, Jesus set their drifting ship on a new course and filled their sails with fresh wind:
“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” (John 13:34–35)
Our Saviour’s great mandate to His followers included a dynamic internal power, His divine love for them, and an impact in the world that still exists today.
The Dynamic—Divine Love
The dynamic is love, but not just any love. The Greek word John used for “love” is agapē, which essentially means to seek the highest good of another. Although the Mosaic Law commanded God’s people to love one another (Leviticus 19:18), there was something about Jesus’ command to love one another that made it new—that is, fresh, unprecedented, or unique.
This message teaches three truths about how we should express Christ’s love to others.
- Authentic love is unconditional in its expression
- Authentic love is unselfish in its motive
- Authentic love is unlimited in its benefits
Which of these applications is the Holy Spirit pointing your heart toward? Real, authentic, vulnerable agapē is the hardest thing in the world to carry out. You can’t do it without the Spirit’s power.