John 13:34 “. . . I have loved you . . .”
This morning, as I thought about the wonderful statement above that was spoken from Jesus’ lips, it challenged me in the context of Jesus’ call to “Follow me.” As I look at Jesus’ life and listen to His words, it challenges me to realize that Jesus has called us to “follow in His steps (1 Peter 2:21).” One of the questions it would be good to ask ourselves in this context is “Can I say the kind of things that Jesus said to others who are in my life?” Nothing gets to the heart of the matter quite like the words Jesus spoke in the verse above. It’s one thing to tell someone “Jesus loves you.” That’s a fundamental part of the gospel that Jesus has told us to preach to all the world. However, can we say about our interactions with others we might tell about Jesus that “I have loved you.” As we speak to others, as we speak about others, as we see their needs, as we spend time with our family and friends, and as we live among our neighbors, at the end of the day, can we look back on it all and truthfully say about them, “I have loved you”? You see, Jesus said that it is not just by our words about Him that people will know that we are His disciples. No, He said that “By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another (John 13:35).” May God help us to, above all, be able to say about those people whom God has placed in our lives, “I have loved you.” It’s the ultimate test of the reality of our faith, for it’s a test of whether the God Who is Love truly lives within us.