As I have Loved You… – Week of May 16, 2022
[Jesus said,] “My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come. A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
How many times a day do you encourage the children in your care or your own children to, “Be nice”? As they work at sharing that toy that is their favorite one ever—“Be nice.” While they want so badly to be first in line but it’s their turn to be in the middle of the line—“Be nice.” When one child is struggling with self-control, and you are encouraging the other children to be patient—”Be nice.” It can be easy for a child to be nice when all is going well, but not as easy when things don’t go their way, or another child is not nice to them.
Take a minute and reread today’s verses.
Did you know that Jesus shared these words with his disciples in the Upper Room the night before his crucifixion? He knew clearly what was about to happen. He had this last time with all of them. He knew just what he wanted to say and what they needed to hear. He’s letting them know that he would not be with them physically, but he would be with them. Jesus gives them words of encouragement to face what’s coming. Jesus says, “As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” He’s reminding them of his love for them. Did you notice that he calls them his children? What a term of love and endearment! He tells them and he tells us to love each other. Not just, “be nice” but truly love each other. Why? Because of him, his love, all he had done, was about to do, and would continue to do for them and for us. Jesus also emphasizes that as they exude and reflect his love, others will know that their love comes from Jesus.
How about us? “Love one another” sounds so simple. You and I might think, “I’m a nice person. I’m kind to others.” This love that Jesus describes goes deeper than simple niceties. It’s what’s called agape love—a love that sacrifices for others. It’s a love for those who are not easy to love. It’s a love that comes from the love Jesus has for us.
And so, “Be nice” but even more, “love one another.” Think of the enduring love the Savior has for you. That loves motivates us and fills us with a love that reaches out to those around us in ways that reflect our Savior. So you can and do love one another out of love for Jesus. You can and do love one another as a way to reflect his love to others and point them to him.
Dear Jesus, I want to be a reflection of your love that points others to you. Help me to do so with all those around me. Thank you for your unending and sacrificial love. Amen