Acts 14:21-27; Ps 144; Ap 21:1-5; Jn 13:31-35
I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you. These three simple words can and have changed the course of history. Think about the ramifications of Henry VIII and his love for Anne Boleyn, think about Romeo and Juliet, and think about Paris and Helen of Troy. Love truly can change the way of the world. Yet these three simple words in themselves don’t bring about change. It is the actions which then follow or which lead up to such a declaration of love.
Jesus tells us, today, love one another. He commands us to love. Now when he says this is itself important. He says it after having just washed the feet of his disciples. In other words, he has already demonstrated to his disciples and, therefore, to us that to love is to act. Just as I have loved you. What I have just done you, too, must do. You must wash the feet of those whom you know.
Does Jesus mean we literally must get out to Morrison’s and buy some soap and towels? Well, if need be, then yes he does. If it is that someone needs to have their feet washed then that is what we must do to show our love for one another. Whatever are a person’s needs is how we must respond. Though I suspect we will not meet many persons who need to have their feet washed, we will most certainly meet people in need. Jesus commands us to respond to that need in love.
How many homeless people did you help this last week? How many people begging for money did you walk past? When did you feed the hungry last? How about those who thirst? Did you satisfy them? I’m not talking about someone who needed a drink. I’m talking about those who are in need of salvation. Those who need to hear the Word and have their thirst for truth satisfied. These are people hungry and thirsty for the Word made flesh.
When I was sick you visited me. How many people who were sick did you visit? Perhaps you’ve been to prison, or to hospital, or to an old folk’s home.
You hear what I’m saying. If you love one another then you will be acting to bring about the kingdom of God. Jesus didn’t say you have to like someone. He said you have to love another. If you are a Christian, if you are a follower of Christ, then listen to the master speak. Listen to his words and act upon them.
Finally, who was it that Jesus loved. Well, everyone, yes but whose feet did he wash? He washed the feet of Peter, who would deny him three times, and he washed the feet of Judas, who would leave that room and betray the Son of Man. Jesus was put to death by those whom he loved!
I love you. Say what you mean and mean what you say.