By PASTOR RAUL GRANILLO
“By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35
Have you ever considered all the ways that we try to let people know something about us? For instance, a person might wear a wedding ring so that others will know that they are married. A person might wear a team logo so that others will know that they are a fan. Some might wear a uniform so that others will know that they are law enforcement. Some place political bumper stickers on their vehicle so that others will know which party they support.
In countless ways, we try to express something about ourselves to others. The problem is that sometimes we may not always convey what we mean to. The wedding ring doesn’t guarantee fidelity and wearing a team logo may be nothing more than a bandwagon response. It takes more than “things” to truly reflect who you are. The same goes for the follower of Christ.
There are many ways that we may try to convey to others that we are Christians. Some may choose to wear Christian T-shirts. Some stick a fish on their car. Some memorize and quote scriptures to everyone around them, even if the conversation has nothing to do with it.
Some go door to door to tell people about Jesus and why they need to “accept Him as Lord and Savior”. Some leave a tract instead of a tip at a restaurant, as if they are doing the server a favor. These are only a few of the ways that we often try to let people know that we are Christian. None of them is what the believer is commanded to do; and some of them (cheap tippers) are contrary to what Jesus commanded.
Jesus told His apostles that, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples.” A disciple is a learner, a person who is learning how to be like the one they follow. In this case, they are to be followers and emulators of Jesus. What does that look like? I’m glad you asked, Jesus laid it out clearly.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35)
The disciple will be known as a disciple when that person chooses to obey God and love others the way Jesus loved them. Jesus loves the world enough to take on flesh and go through life just as we do.
Jesus loves the world so much that He went straight to the marginalized to offer them a place as heirs. Jesus loves the world so much that when the people failed, He showed grace and offered the ultimate gift anyway. These are only a few examples of the love that Jesus showed to His apostles, and still shows to us today. This is the love that believers are commanded to have for others. This is how we should convey our faith to others; by loving as Christ loves us.
Imagine what it might be like if every time someone encountered a Christian all they received was grace and love. Imagine leaving a $100 tip to a server who kept messing up your order and leaving you with an empty drink. Imagine going door to door, not to talk about Jesus, but to be Jesus and serve however others need you.
Imagine instead of putting a fish on your car, you leave a letter of encouragement on the car of someone who cut you off, or who stole your spot, or seemed to be struggling. Imagine what would happen if the first thing people noticed about you was your love for them.
This is how people should perceive Jesus’ Church, as the body that reflects His love back into the world. How are you doing that? How are you obeying the most basic command given by God?
Do something absolutely unexpected, show love when hatred or indifference is anticipated. Let this be how others know that we are disciples of Jesus Christ. I warn you though, it will change the world for the better.
Please come join us as we fix our eyes on Jesus. We meet Sundays at 9 a.m. for Sunday school and 10 a.m. for worship. Everyone is welcome!