Lent Day 38: Love That Counteracts Anger

Tim Timmons explains the second life-transforming experience in Jesus as “Love that Counteracts Anger.”  He goes on to talk about the instruction of Jesus to love God, love our neighbor, love one another and even love our enemies.  In my Lenten devotional reading yesterday I was specifically struck my Jesus’ teaching about loving one another.  I have never seen it this clearly until I read John 13 yesterday.  Oh, I have read and heard this statement of Jesus many times, have listened to sermons on it, even taught on this principle of loving one another, yet until yesterday I missed the full extent of the context:

“So Judas took the piece of bread and went out quickly—into the night.  When he had gone, Jesus spoke, “Now comes the glory of the Son of Man, and the glory of God in him! If God is glorified through him then God will glorify the Son of Man—and that without delay. Oh, my children, I am with you such a short time! You will look for me and I have to tell you as I told the Jews, ‘Where I am going, you cannot follow.’ Now I am giving you a new command—love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you must love one another. This is how all men will know that you are my disciples, because you have such love for one another.” (John 13: 30-35)

This is Jesus’ final speech to the disciples!  They had just taken the Last Supper together and He knew his time had come.  Of all of the things Jesus could say, this is his message: love one another.   Jesus had one final chance to communicate with his closest followers, his friends, about what was most important.  He wasn’t just trying to inspire them, the future of the world was hanging on these words.  Jesus was entrusting the work of communicating the good news of God to these 11 men, and his message was clear: love another. “This is how all men will know that you are my disciples, because you have such love for one another.” Oh that we would carry on this great work of Jesus…

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