Read: John 13:31-35
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. (v. 34)
Did you ever play the game Follow the Leader when you were a kid? To play, a leader is chosen who might make funny faces, dance around in complicated steps, or utter weird sounds. The rest of the kids try to exactly imitate the leader. It can get pretty silly but is always a lot of fun!
When God delivered the Israelites out of Egypt, he gave them his Ten Commandments and hundreds of laws for how they should relate to God and each other. Jesus then taught that all the laws were summed up in two commandments: love the Lord your God with everything that is in you and to love your neighbor as yourself (Matt. 22:36-40). Then, in our reading today, Jesus added something to make it clear what it means to love others. He says to love as he did (John 13:34). That’s a tall order! Jesus is the Son of God—his steadfast love for us is perfect—and he wants us to love like he does?
When we read in the Gospels what Jesus did to love others, we see that he put others first, met their needs, had compassion on the weak, and shunned societal norms to befriend the marginalized and outcasts. By following the Leader and imitating Jesus, we’re letting God’s steadfast love for us flow through to others. —Donna Harold
As you pray, consider how Jesus steadfastly loves you, and do the same to others.
About the Author
Donna M. Harold is retired from a career in accounting and consulting and lives in Tampa, Florida, with her husband and two cats. She serves as treasurer for her church, facilitates Bible studies, and enjoys the creativity of writing, mosaicking, and quilting.