This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. John 15:12
There are ten commandments provided by God. Spoken through Moses. Then there is the commandment given by Jesus, not canceling the first ten; but making them all possible to do.
In John 15, Jesus is speaking to his disciples. This isn’t one of his many lessons or parables he was teaching throughout his ministry. This was THE message. His last to them before he would sacrifice himself for them. Display the ultimate act of love.
Is Jesus instructing us to die for others? Not necessarily. He is asking us to make sacrifices for others in order to demonstrate his love. To give up our own desires. To deny ourselves. Not our values, but our pleasures.
How do we love as Jesus loved us?
We encourage. We speak kind words to others, over others, and about others. We walk away from gossip and conversations that seek to tear others down.
We listen. We don’t always need to have the answer or last word. We don’t even have to agree. But we can simply be an ear for someone who needs to be heard.
We help and we give. Of our time. Our resources. Our talents. Our wisdom. We don’t keep these things to ourselves, and for our own personal success and gain, but to give to others. And sometimes this means we have to give up something “fun,” to be Jesus to someone.
We forgive. We don’t have to die to offer forgiveness. Nor do we have to continue to allow abuse and disrespect. We do have to pray. For the salvation of those who hurt us. For our hearts to heal. Then we move on. Loving from afar, with this in mind: “Father forgive them for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34)
That’s what Jesus did, and it is what we are called to do.
Go out and love like Jesus-today, tomorrow, and the next day. Just as he loves you!