SanLo update for April 28, 2019 - The Mark of the Church – John 13:31-35 – Pastor Josh
Jesus’ love for the church should be the mark of the church. Jesus loves his people so much that he humbles himself to the point of cultural embarrassment. It was crazy and outlandish. But what Jesus sets in motion is a timeless example of how we’re to love the church as a mark of the church. But why should we, the church, be marked by Jesus’ love?
1. Jesus loves us. This is one of the first things that we learn as Christians. “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” It’s such a basic idea many of us know but do we actually take the time to think through all of the implications, all that that actually means? Jesus loves us so much he died for us. (John 13:31-35)
When Judas leaves the room, Jesus knows that the gospel events will now take place. Judas’ exit marks the betrayal that sets into motion Jesus’ arrest, trial and execution. That’s why Jesus says, “Now is the Son of Man glorified…” All of the following events now culminate in Jesus’ glory. God’s glory manifests itself in the love displayed on the cross.
This is the hope that we have because of the love between Father and Son. That though we were once dead in our sins, because he humbled himself in taking up the cross and dying for us, Jesus brings glory to the Father at the same time the Father brings glory to Jesus out of His love for him. Thus, we can rejoice in the hope we have for life in eternity but also in the hope that we can now live in each and every day.
In bringing God glory through the events of the gospel, Jesus accomplished what no one else could, our salvation. As John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” This is why we’re to love one another. Because while all of us deserved death, Jesus came to give us life.
2. We are the mark of Jesus’ love to the world. The mark of Jesus’ love is to everyone. It’s to all people, no matter their skin color, their gender or their struggle. We’re called to love all brothers and sisters in Christ.
Having announced what he’s about to do, Jesus now lays out his expectations for his disciples when he’s away. And looking to Israelite law, the idea of loving one another has a long history. The covenant God made with Moses mandated two love commandments. First, love God and, second, love your neighbor as yourself. (Dt. 6:5) and (Lv. 19:18). They’ve been around a long time. But if these commandments are so old, why does Jesus say this is a new commandment?
Well what’s new is Jesus; he wasn’t there before. Jesus becomes our example. & now that Jesus is our example, we can love as Jesus loves with him as our guide.
The more we recognize the weight of our own sin, the more we recognize the weight of the Savior’s love. And the more we recognize his love, the more we realize how much room we have to grow in loving one another as Jesus does.
Our love for one another then becomes the mark of Christ’s love to the world. It’s not only a command then for us to love one another out of response to God’s love for saving us, but then it’s the privilege by which we make God known to the world. At the very least, we must follow Christ’s example in humbling ourselves in loving one another. Consider how great a testimony this would be to the broken world we live in!
We’ve been mandated by Jesus himself to become a community of love, caring and investing in one another because Christ invested in us, showing love not because we’re so similar to one another, we’re all so different, but because Jesus gave us himself as the model who washed everyone’s feet including Judas’.
So church, when the world walks through our doors, do they see divisions or do they see unions? Do they see the ugliness of humanity or are they caught by the attractiveness Jesus’ love moving in the church? Do we genuinely love one another in service as Jesus loves us? Do we daily forgive one another just as Jesus always forgives?
Let us be the mark of Christ and His love to the world. Let the world be shaken and moved by our love for each other and others around us.
Thank you Pam Yata for the Children’s Message about commands and rules in the Bible specifically the one that tells us to love one another as Jesus loved us.