John 14:21-31a (3/26/12)
A few days ago, we saw that Jesus said that we should love him even more than we love our own families. At the Last Supper, Jesus says that the only way to show that you love him is to obey him – which means obeying God, because Jesus emphasizes that he has only taught what God said. He gives his own obedience to the Father as an example: he loves the Father; therefore he obeys the Father. If we love Jesus, we will obey the commandments that Jesus has given us. What are the commandments? Love God. Love your neighbor.
Reader Comment: My granddaughter [age 3 1/2] this weekend upon seeing a dead armadillo in the road: "Mom, that armadillo died because he didn't obey Jesus!"
John 15:9-17 (3/27/12)
Jesus says, “I love you; God the Father loves you. If you love me, you will obey my commandments. Here’s my commandment: Love one another.”
Any of us who claim to be followers of Jesus need to pay particular attention to whether we are acting lovingly toward other people, especially our fellow-Christians.
John 21:1-17 (3/28/12)
When Jesus met several of his disciples on the shore of Lake Tiberias after the resurrection, he didn’t say, “Wow! Look at me! Here I am alive! Is this cool, or what?” Instead, he fixed breakfast and said, “Come and eat.” He made the occasion about taking care of his tired, hungry disciples, not about himself.
One difference (among many) between me and Jesus is that I tend to think everything ought to be about me. I say, “If you love me, take care of me.” Jesus says, “If you love me, take care of my people.” As Christians, we need to pay less attention to our own wants and more attention to loving others on behalf of Jesus.
1 Corinthians 12:31 – 13:13 (3/29/12)
I was talking to a fellow the other day who struck me as being truly devout. I think he is a sincere believer in Jesus Christ. He probably told me 30 times in 30 minutes that he is a Christian, and I believe him completely. Unfortunately, after a while I found him a little annoying. Some of the things that he told me he has done “as a Christian” make me uneasy.
We’ve all read 1 Corinthians 13 at least a hundred times. After reading it again just now, I realize why this fellow annoyed me. He has faith; he doesn’t – from his own account – act lovingly. He is not always patient, not always kind. He recited to me (a comparative stranger) a list of wrongs other people had done. From his own account, he hasn’t always been supportive and loyal. But in every case, he said he was acting “as a Christian.”
So now I have to ask myself, does this fellow annoy me because he does not love the way Paul says we should? Or does he annoy me because I see my own behavior in a dark glass when I look at him?
Romans 13:8-10 (3/30/12)
The love of others commanded by God is not the same as the warm, fuzzy, teen-ager-in-love love that we often think about. Instead, it is like the love God has for us, or – the Bible says – like the love we have for ourselves. Am I hungry? I get something to eat. Am I cold? I turn up the thermostat. Am I lonely? I call my mom. Self-love, like God’s love for us, is active. That’s the way we are supposed to love others: by actively taking care of them. “Do you love me? Feed my sheep,” Jesus said.
More about Living the Christian Life
A Call to Christian Living
Living So It Shows
Sharing the Good News
Who Is Your Legacy?
Five Spiritual Disciplines
New Life and New Standards
Living in the World
Love One Another
Again, Love One Another
And as a Final Word, Love One Another
Copyright 2012, 2021 by Regina L. Hunter. All rights reserved.
The illustration of The Last Supper, by Gustave Doré, is from the Gartin family Bible, now in the private collection of Regina Hunter.
Opinions expressed on this page are solely those of the
author, Regina Hunter, and may or may not be shared by the sponsors or the
Bible-study participants. Thanks to the
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errors are, of course, the sole responsibility of the author.
St. John’s United Methodist Church,
2626 Arizona NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87110
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