A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. John 13:34-35
In Jesus’s final meal with his disciples before his death, he offers clear direction for how his followers are to relate to each other. The hallmark trait of a believer is love for one another. Their cultural norm is that brotherly love is reserved for family members. Jesus applies this love to his followers. They are now part of his family (John 1:12) and are to care for one another with the same love a healthy family should display for each other. It’s not based on the allusion of good behavior all the time. But how we love and care for each other, even when we’re not at our best, can show the world that Jesus is believable. Peter sits at that meal with Jesus and later adds brotherly love to his list of traits that make people ask about our faith (1 Peter 3:8).
Peter also highlights the trait of compassion. Jesus not only taught compassion but lived it out. Throughout his ministry, the Bible reveals that Jesus was moved by compassion, whether for a crowd or an outcast individual (Matthew 9:36 and Matthew 8:2-3). He also models compassion in his teaching: The father runs to and embraces his prodigal son (Luke 15:20). The Samaritan cares for the beaten man left to die alongside the road (Luke 10:34). Compassion involves moving toward someone, inconveniencing ourselves and meeting a real need. As we move toward others with the compassion of Jesus, we show the world what Jesus is like.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Look around your church community and ask God who he is inviting you to move toward. What is a real need he is equipping and calling you to meet? Write this in your journal and then take action this week with his help.
2023 SPIRITUAL PRACTICES
Join us all of 2023 developing a different spiritual practice each month. SPIRITUAL PRACTICES are intentional regular activities to deepen our relationship with God and mold us to be more like Jesus.
January is BIBLE READING. Keep track of our spiritual practices at beyondtheweekend.org/spiritualpractices.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.