THIRD TIME’S THE CHARM

“This I command you, that you love one another” (John 15:17).

For the third time in this upper room discourse, Jesus has commanded his disciples with the imperative to love one another (13:34; 15:12). It is not a divine suggestion, applicable when appropriate, but a mandate from the Lord. If even the most godless reprobate loves the lovable, then, is it not the intentional way we love the unlovable that separates us, and gives us our distinctive Christ-like presence in the world? Perhaps, like his first disciples, we need the frequent reminder that even when we were the unlovable, Christ loved us; that if such love was extended to the likes of us, the only fair and appropriate response is to offer it to others.

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