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Love one Another

"When he(Judas) was gone, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is glorified and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will glorify the Son in himself, and will glorify him at once. 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.” John 13:31-35

Jesus was always looking for opportunities to teach those around Him. This night in John 13 with His disciples was no exception. Jesus had gathered with them around a table for the Feast of the Passover. It was a night, like many others, for conversation and communion among friends who had journeyed together for 3 years. Only this night was markedly different than the rest. Jesus knew that Judas, one of His closest companions, was only minutes away from betraying Him. In this moment, there were so many lessons Jesus could have taught His disciples. But, He chose the one that He knew would prove to be the most challenging for them, and for us, in moments of hurt and betrayal. He was keenly aware of the difficult journey that lay ahead of the disciples. They would face ridicule and pain for the sake of the gospel. So Jesus chose to teach them to love others just as He had loved them. He was careful to inform them that others would know Whose they were by the way they loved. Just before this passage in verses 13-20, Jesus gave them a beautiful example of what it looked like to lead with love as He became in very nature a servant by washing their feet. His example was to serve others in extravagant ways, even those who would betray Him.

I don't know about you, but my first response to betrayal or rejection is not typically serving those who have hurt me. Crying, bitterness, anger...yes to all of those but serving? Heck to the NO. Jesus knew what would happen to my heart if left in patterns of bitterness. Left too long in unresolved hurt, I will become very self-focused. The formula for shifting from self to others-focus is simple...SERVING OTHERS! It's nearly impossible to stay upset when you are serving someone else. I may not have the desire to minister to those who have hurt me, but in view of God's love and forgiveness for me, I am compelled to. Jesus knows what I will do to hurt, deny or betray Him, and yet He still climbed on the cross for me and will always love me unconditionally. I've personally experienced the healing power of a humble act of service that turns hurt and betrayal into compassion and love.

We gain the power to love and serve others through what He has done for us. And do you know what happens when we live and love the way Jesus did? When we live with an others focus? The world takes notice! Just like Jesus said, people will recognize Whose we are by our love!

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