9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.
10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.
11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
14 You are my friends if you do what I command.
15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.
17 This is my command: Love each other.
Of the many commands that Jesus gave His closest disciples, this is perhaps the most important one. We see that in the birth of the early church that this principle, to love one another, was a foundational aspect. One of the many features of the first church that fostered such large and organic growth, love. It is not secret that all humans need it. So why is it such a difficult command to follow sometimes?
The difficultly with loving people is that we are preprogramed to be defensive out of self-preservation. We respond to people in the same way they treat us. If they are harsh with us then we are harsh with them. But it does not have to be that way. We can reposed to the callousness of this world with love even if it’s not welcomed. This is the love that Jesus showed the world. He was rebuffed at every angle yet He chose to love even those who persecuted Him.
This is the love that commanded of us. It will change the world if we follow His instructions.