John 13:34-35 (CEB)

34 “I give you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, so you also must love each other. 35 This is how everyone will know that you are my disciples, when you love each other.”


This is Jesus’ greatest commandment: to love each other, just as I have loved you. Could anything be simpler than love?

It has been said that love makes the world go around. Of course, it is the topic of countless poems, stories and songs. In the name of love, people have shown incredible acts of commitment.  It connects star-crossed lovers and has been known to sustain soldiers in battle. Love creates families of all kinds and in its absence leaves people hurting. Most importantly, in the simplest of ways, don’t we all share stories of loving that define our lives together?

But on the other hand, could anything be more challenging? Love may take many forms, but people often define love by familial or romantic bonds. When the world speaks of love, we look for a connection or an understanding. We want to share in love mutually. Yet Christian love means offering love even when others don’t.  Jesus’ commandment says to love people anyway. Love the unseen, the broken and undeserving. Humanly, we look for the bonds of family or brotherhood to understand love, but as Christians, Jesus says love people no matter what.

by Barbara Carlson

For Pondering & Prayer

When we say that loving another is too hard, Jesus’ story reminds us that we can love unconditionally. Jesus did and Jesus does. His story reminds us that to truly love another, we remember how God loves us – even when we too are most undeserving. Who in your life has shown you undeserved love? As a Christian, how are you an example of God’s love for the world?

Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank you for loving me, even when I am undeserving. Help me to live and to love by your example. Amen.