“By this, all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”-John 13:35
Verse 35 is continuation of verse 34. Francis Schaeffer wrote some of the most amazing pages about these two verses in The Mark of the Christian (1970). Following Jesus, Schaeffer said how we carry out Jesus’s commandment is the key criterion by which the world may know what Christianity is all about.
We often assume that people make their determinations about the truth of the faith based upon well-reasoned apologetics, culturally relevant messages, or great facilities (or shabby facilities). We stress secondary issues and we miss the main point.
These other considerations are not unimportant, but that they are not ultimate. Every person desires to be loved and accepted. They don’t principally desire wealth or emotional highs. What they want to know is that they are valued and that they belong.
Jesus told his disciples, “Look…you have seen how I have lived my life. I have loved the unlovable. I have healed the broken. I have crossed cultural lines, even with those most people consider morally deplorable. That included some of you. I have sought to serve rather than be served. Do that yourselves and when people are able to see the love that you offer, walls will come down.”
Jesus called us to his way of living, asking us to love recklessly, move toward other people we would otherwise hate, worry less about offending religious people, and think more about being his hands and feet.
Jesus, you have called us to a radical journey. What you are asking us to do runs contrary to the culture and it runs contrary to the church. Teach us to love as you love and to serve as you serve, all to the glory of the Father. Amen.