love one another.

Jesus was eating supper with his disciples. His last formal supper with them.

He was a little restrained in what he was saying at first, knowing that Judas was getting antsy. Judas who would let the temple police know where best to arrest Jesus.

Then Jesus sent Judas on his way. And turned to the important task of giving last directions to his disciples.

“I’m leaving very soon,” he said. “You can’t come with me. But here’s what I want you to do. A new command. Love one another.”

The disciples knew commands. They knew the 10. They knew the extras. They knew the two that Jesus had summarized for them: Love God completely and love your neighbor as yourself.

Here Jesus is adding focus. He looks around the room at each of them and says, “Love one another. The way I have loved you.”

This was after he had washed their feet, showing that love meant service. This was after he had taught them, scolded them, fed them, mentored them, encouraged them, taken them into his confidence.

And Peter says, “Where are you going?”

Jesus is willing to allow the conversation to move in that direction, to talk theology about the Father and the Spirit and how Jesus was connected to them.

loveAs often happens in our conversations. We hear a direct command and we want to move back in the conversation, to understand what is really going on, to get some details.

But then Jesus comes back to the same place he was before Peter’s question.

“Love one another. The way I have loved you.”

I think his command can become a daily assessment question: “As I look back on my day, in what specific ways (if any) have I loved any other disciple like Jesus did?”

And then ask again tomorrow.

 

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About Jon Swanson

Social media chaplain. Author of "Lent For Non-Lent People" and "A Great Work: A Conversation With Nehemiah For People (Who Want To Be) Doing Great Works." Writer of 300wordsaday.com. I help people understand. Understand some of the Bible. Understand what Lent can be about. Understand what it means to follow.

3 thoughts on “love one another.

  1. I thought this was a great question. Then I thought back to yesterday and wondered, “Does this count? Was that good enough? How far do I have to go to check it off the list, to be good enough?”

    I’m so critical of the Pharisees because they hounded Jesus for lists of rules. Perhaps I need to “put down the microscope and pick up a mirror.”

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    1. ah my dear friend Rich. That’s the challenge for questioners. when there’s an external expectation, you wonder and challenge. But when you set your heart after it, you do it. Yes, you do.

      On Thu, Jun 16, 2016 at 9:09 AM, 300 words a day wrote:

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