Chuck Foreman – Teaching Pastor
Obedience has to be near the top of the list of unpopular words in the American vocabulary. We don’t really want to have to obey anyone. We don’t mind if someone should happen to obey us, but we’d prefer that it not be the other way around. This can present a huge problem when we talk about the idea that following Jesus might just mean obeying him. And it’s going to be hard for us to get around this, especially when Jesus keeps saying things like, “My command is this…” or “A new command I give you…”
Now you’re curious about what his command is, aren’t you? Let’s finish the sentence. I think when you see how he puts his command, it will make a difference.
Jesus’ BFF, John the Apostle, recorded his words for us: “A new command I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13:34) And, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” (John15:12)
It makes a difference, doesn’t it, when someone says, “Do for others what I’ve done for you.” Jesus isn’t telling us to do anything we haven’t already experienced from him. That sets a lot better with you, doesn’t it? I thought so. Me too. So did Jesus.
Jesus’ command is to love the way he loved. That doesn’t make it easy, but it does make us more willing to give it a shot. Jesus was not a tyrant. He was a servant. That’s how he showed love. That’s how we show love too.
So, how’s your servant hood? What do you do regularly, as a way of living, to serve others? Who do you serve? Does it have to be on your volunteer calendar or on the church service day calendar? As one person whom I’ve grown to respect a lot once asked me, if you moved out of your neighborhood, would anyone give a rip—would they notice? Are we loving each other and our neighbors as ourselves? Jesus said, when we do, they’ll all know we are his followers. (John 13:35)