“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34).
What is love? (No, not just a song title.) How do you define love?
Jesus uses a very special word for “love” in this verse. It’s a verb derived from the Greek word “agape” (agapay). The Greek language actually has at least 4 different words for the concept of “love.” Agape love is a love of the will of the person doing the loving that says, “I choose to love you apart from any lovable or unlovable characteristic you may or may not have.” It’s a choice in the heart of the one doing the loving that chooses to love someone unconditionally, selflessly, without expecting anything at all in return, even willing to endure pain and loss for the object of the love. It’s very active in giving and doing. When asked why, it responds, “I love you because I love you.”
Jesus told us to love each other with that kind of love. Do you? Do you love strangers with that kind of love? Do you love fellow Christians with that love? Do you love your family with that kind of love? Do you love your spouse with that kind of love?
If not, why not? Is it, perhaps, because we are afraid? I’m afraid that if I selflessly love others, who’s going to love me? Who’s going to care about me? Who’s going to take care of my needs?
But here’s the reality: you’re already wanted, loved, and cared for. In fact, God couldn’t possibly love you any more than He already does! He loved you way before you could possibly earn it or deserve it! He loved you by sending His own Son to die for your sins, to rise from the dead for your forgiveness, all to rescue you for eternity!
With God, you have all the love you could ever possibly need. So…Love one another. As Jesus has loved you, so you must love on another.
Loved by God so I can love, just like you,