34 “I give you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, so you also must love each other.
This is a high bar for love. The highest, in fact. “Just as I have loved you” – really, Jesus?
Sometimes, it’s hard to imagine loving even those closest to us in this way. To accept fully, to love completely, to forgive immediately, to sacrifice unreservedly – it requires more of us than we have to give.
And then, when we think about offering that same love to everyone – well, that’s beyond mind-boggling.
This is Jesus’ way: he calls us to do the impossible. “Be perfect, as your Father in heaven is perfect” he says (Matthew 5:48). “You must forgive, even if you are wronged seventy times seven times” (Matthew 18:22). Or, perhaps most difficult of all: “No one can be my disciple without giving up all their possessions” (Luke 14:33).
Jesus calls us to the impossible, in order to remind us that it actually IS impossible. That’s the point!
WE are utterly incapable of doing any of these things. WE are incapable of that kind of love. WE are incapable of that kind of forgiveness. WE are incapable of that kind of generosity.
We can only do these things – and even then, not all that perfectly – with God’s help. We can only do them, even in our limited way, because God has gone there first, and because God has done them first.
Jesus asks the impossible, because only through God is the impossible possible!
by Joe Monahan
For Pondering & Prayer
Is there something in your life that, when you look back on it, you wonder how it ever happened? Give thanks for that and spend some time praying over the things that seem impossible to you today, remembering that our God makes the impossible possible!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we thank you for continually calling us to the impossible. Though we may be frightened, we may be scared, remind us of your empty tomb, and your power to make the impossible possible! Amen.