“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” John 15:12
To love each other as Christ has loved you. What a statement to behold. What a task to ponder. What a command to obey. This is the command that Christ gave His disciples after washing their feet. This is the command that He again repeats in John 15. To obey Jesus is to love each other the way that He has loved you. Of course there is no way to fully cover this subject, there are a few major implications of this command that we can take and apply. We find those by asking the question, how does Christ love you?
- Sacrificial Love- When we often think of Christ and the work on the cross. That love is a sacrificial love. A love that takes our place. A love that is displayed on the cross. “No greater love has no one that this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” V. 13. That is the love that is given to us by Jesus on the cross. That we are not only children of God, but also friends of God. We know this to be true of Christ towards us, but what of us towards others? Do you love in this manner? To love each other as Christ loved you is to love someone sacrificially. We see this lived out in Acts 2:42-47. The scriptures tell us that they were selling their possessions to provide for anyone that had need.
- Forgiving Love- Another display of Christ on the cross is the work of forgiveness. Jesus said from the cross about those who were murdering Him. “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.” This type of forgiveness was given to those who didn’t ask for it. We often reserve our forgivenesses for those who ask for it, but what about those who never ask for it? Christ showed us this type of forgiveness. That while you and I were enemies of God, He loved us, He forgave us. As believers in Christ this is the command we are to live out. We are to love others by giving them forgiveness, even when they do not ask for it.
- Rebuking Love- This is one that we often don’t consider love. Jesus displayed love to the woman caught in adultery by showing her compassion, not condemning her, but by also rebuking her lifestyle. “Go and sin no more.” Our love for each other should lead us to confront sin in each other’s lives. This love is for each other’s sanctification. If you love someone, you must be willing to guide them to repentance. On the flip side, you must be willing to take rebuke. Proverbs 9:8 “Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you.” To love is to point to truth.
Of course there are many other ways Christ displayed His love to us. These are just a few that we see quickly evident. But the question remains, are you willing to love as Christ loved you? Are you willing to love others the way that Christ loved you? This is how we will show that we are His disciples.