What the World Needs Now Is Love
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35
These words were spoken by Jesus to his disciples as they gathered around the table and shared the last meal together before His crucifixion. He had lowered Himself to the floor and washed their dirty feet. He revealed that there was a betrayer among them. Peter, who was certain of his love and loyalty for Jesus, was confronted by Jesus that before the night was over he would deny Him three times. He told them that His time to die and depart had come. Scene by scene, He uncovered for them the way it was all about to unfold. It was in that setting, circled around the table that He speaks a new command to them.
Love. Love one another. Love like me.
This is how others will know that you are my followers…
By the way you love one another.
We read no comment and no response from any of the disciples. They moved right past this profound command and demanded answers to their next question. I don’t know if they missed it or just didn’t know what to do with it. But Jesus knew they would need His love to endure the next three days and the remainder of their lives.
I can hear that old song, performed best by Dionne Warwick, “What The World Needs Now.” We need her to sing it right down into our hearts awakening us to this much needed lifestyle of love that Jesus commanded.
“What the world needs now is love, sweet love,
It's the only thing that there's just too little of.
What the world needs now is love, sweet love
No not just for some, but for everyone.”
The world needs for Jesus to show up at our tables declaring this new commandment that seems to have become an old forgotten suggestion. “Love one another” seems to have been traded in for a hard, cold and bitter hatred. We have come under the command of another, named Satan, who yells into our homes, hearts, government, and even churches: “Hate one another. Mistreat one another. Lie about one another. Cheat one another. Steal from one another. Betray one another. Accuse one another. Kill one another.”
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came so that they would have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10
Love one another changes everything.
Loving like Jesus is not something we can manufacture. I find it is critical to humble myself before God and ask for His forgiveness for the lack of love for all mankind. I plead with Him to deposit more of His love within me. I continue to surrender myself and ask Him to take over and love through my thoughts, my words and my actions. I can’t do it in this world full of hatred and division, but oh, He can do it through me. All He needs is a surrendered vessel that demands no rights of my own. I often find myself asking Him to show me what His love would look like in a particular situation. It is shocking, because His love looks nothing like our fake love.
His love willingly laid down His life for those who hated him, mocked him, spit upon him, hurled insults upon, and killed his body. And through it all:
His love was silent.
His love did not protest or defend.
His love did not strike back.
His love endured all the way to the cross, the grave and right into the chair at the right hand of His Father. To this day He remains there interceding for us that we might be His love in a dark world that will treat us the same as it treated Him.
Before going to the cross Jesus prayed for you and for me.
“Father, I have made you known to them and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.” John 17:26
“Lord, this heart of mine needs love. This world needs love. Transform me that I may be a vessel of your love to a world that desperately needs You.”