Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples. John 13:35
Artist Sigismund Goetze shocked Victorian-era England with a painting entitled “Despised and Rejected of Men.” In it, he portrayed the suffering, condemned Jesus surrounded by people of Goetze’s own generation. They were so consumed by their own interests—business, romance, politics—that they were shockingly oblivious to the Savior’s sacrifice. Indifferent to Christ, the surrounding crowd, like the mob at the foot of Jesus’s cross, had no idea what—or who—they had missed.
In our day as well, believers and unbelievers alike can easily become distracted from the eternal. How can followers of Jesus cut through this fog of distraction with the truth of God’s great love? We can begin by loving one another as fellow children of God. Jesus said, “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples” (John 13:35
But real love doesn’t stop there. We extend that love by sharing the gospel in hopes of drawing people to the Savior. As Paul wrote, “We are . . . Christ’s ambassadors” (2 Corinthians 5:20).
In this way, the body of Christ can both reflect and project God’s love, the love we so desperately need, to both each other and to our world. May both efforts, empowered by His Spirit, be a part of cutting through the distractions that hinder us from seeing the wonder of God’s love in Jesus.
Read the Discovery Series booklet Truth with Love: Sharing the Story of Jesus at discoveryseries.org/hp141.
Consider those Jesus chose as His first disciples (Luke 6:13–16). While they were all men and all Jewish, there was much that could (and sometimes did) divide them. Most were from Galilee in the north, but one (Judas Iscariot) was from Judea in the south. While most were fishermen (Mark 1:16–20), Matthew was a tax collector (Matthew 10:3) who served the Romans—harming his own people. Matthew would have been despised by everyone, especially Simon the Zealot (v. 4), a member of a radical Jewish group determined to drive Rome out of Israel. Add to that the attempts by James and John to seek higher places of honor in the kingdom (Mark 10:35–37), and you have a fertile environment for friction. These factors and more would have intensified the difficulty of loving one another. Yet, just as we love God because He first loved us, we love one another—despite our differences—in the power of the love we have received from God. As we seek to dwell together as followers of Christ, loving one another isn’t easy, but it’s vital.
Do you need God’s help to love a particular person in an intentional way this week?