by David and Stephen Olford
Text: "A new commandment I give unto you. That ye love one another; as I have loved you By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples." (John 12:34-35).
Thought: The supreme and unmistakable mark of Jesus' disciples is love. Disciples must always be known by:
Redemptive Love: "Love one another," commanded the Savior, "as I have loved you" (v. 34). When Jesus spoke these words He had just exemplified redemptive love by humbling Himself to wash the feet of the disciples-among them the one who was to deny Him and the one who was to betray Him. Such love as this can only be described as redemptive and divine. Human love may impress with its words, but only redemptive love can express itself in deed and in reality.
Reciprocal Love: "Love one another" (v. 34). Redemptive love is a divine quality which can be enjoyed mutually. When the Lord Jesus becomes the center of our shared love, we are brought together and carried along by a love which knows no differences, no distinctions and no disharmonies. Such love is the unstinted and willing giving of ourselves-spiritually, ethically, and practically-for the good of others. May such love characterize our discipleship.
Reflected Love: "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples" (v. 35). It is up to us, as disciples of Jesus, to reflect redemptive and reciprocal love in a manner which will convince the world that we are His disciples. As Christians, we must not only love one another, but we must demonstrate that love in a world that is starved of love.
Thrust: May God rekindle His love in all our hearts that we might present a convincing witness to the world, and that others will be cognizant of fact that we have been "with Jesus."