The Gospel of John: a commentary & meditation 
  "Love one another, even as I have loved you"

Scripture: John 13:31-38

31 When he had gone out, Jesus said, "Now is the Son of man glorified, and in him God is glorified; 32 if God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him at once. 33 Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, `Where I am going you cannot come.' 34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." 36 Simon Peter said to him, "Lord, where are you going?" Jesus answered, "Where I am going you cannot follow me now; but you shall follow afterward." 37 Peter said to him, "Lord, why cannot I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you." 38 Jesus answered, "Will you lay down your life for me? Truly, truly, I say to you, the cock will not crow, till you have denied me three times.

Meditation: How does God reveal his glory to us?  In his Last Supper discourse Jesus speaks of his glory and the glory of his Father. What is this glory? It is the cross which Jesus speaks of here. The cross of Jesus shows us that the greatest glory in life is the glory of willingly sacrificing one's life for the sake of another. In the cross God reveals the breadth of his great love for sinners and the power of redemption which cancels the debt of sin and reverses the curse of our condemnation. Jesus gave his Father supreme honor and glory through his obedience and willingness to sacrifice his life on the cross. The greatest trust one can give to their leader is the willingness to obey in the line of duty, even to the point of putting oneself in harm's way. In warfare the greatest honor belongs not to those who survive but to those who give the supreme sacrifice of their lives. Jesus also speaks of the Father bringing glory to the Son through the great mystery of the Incarnation and Cross of Christ. God the Father gave us his only begotten Son for our sake, to redeem us from slavery to sin and death.  He freely offered his Son as the atoning sacrifice for our sins and the sins of the world.

 There is no greater proof of God's love for us than the Cross of Jesus Christ. In the cross we see a new way of love a love that is selfless, sacrificial, forgiving and compassionate beyond comprehension. Jesus commands us, his disciples, to love one another just as he has loved  us. How can we love one another selflessly, sacrificially, and with compassion? Through the victory of the cross and resurrection, we  have access to God's grace and mercy.  God gives us new life through the gift of the Holy Spirit and he fills our hearts with faith, hope, and love. Paul the Apostle reminds us that "God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us" (Romans 5:5).  As we turn to God with trust and obedience, he transforms our hearts and frees us to love others with compassion and kindness.  Do you want to bring glory to God in the way you love others?

"Lord Jesus, your love knows no bounds and your obedience to the Father reverses the curse of our disobedience. May I bring you glory in the sacrifice of my will to the will of the Father and in my love and compassion for others, both for those who treat me well and for those who cause me grief or harm."


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(c) 1999, 2004 Don Schwager