“So I give you a new command: Love each other deeply and fully. Remember the ways that I have loved you, and demonstrate your love for others in those same ways. Everyone will know you as My followers if you demonstrate your love to others.” (John 13:34-35 The Voice)(1)
On the church’s calendar, today is Maundy Thursday. This day derives its name from the Latin word that is the root of our word mandate. It’s called this because of Jesus’ words in John, “a new command I give to you” or a new “mandate.” This mandate comes after his washing of the disciples feet. With this “new mandate,” Jesus instructs his disciples to do the same to one another and then says that this is how the world will know that they are his disciples, by their love.
Much of what we classify as discipleship often falls under the realm of teaching and learning, but it’s important not to miss what Jesus has shown his disciples in this moment. Our discipleship isn’t displayed by our knowledge of God’s word or dedication to church attendance, but instead our discipleship is shown through our acts of love.
Jesus gave us the ultimate example of love calls us to do the same. We’re called to love one another in the way the Jesus did. It’s good to say that we are followers of Christ because we believe that the Bible is true, but being a disciple means that we also act on what we see in the word, doing what Jesus did.
This weekend many people will go to church because that’s what people do on Easter, but let’s not forget the new command that Jesus gave to us and the example that he set to live out a life of love.
“My commandment to you is this: love others as I have loved you. There is no greater way to love than to give your life for your friends.” (John 15:12-13 The Voice)(1)