Have you ever gotten frustrated with the people at your church? Have you ever wondered if things might just be a little easier if they weren’t there? Are there people who just annoy you? Do you ever wish Jesus would just hurry up and “fix them”?
Welcome to the Church!
Yes, my friends, those fallible, flawed, frustrating folks are your new family in Jesus. He died to deliver each one into the hands of the Father. They are precious in His sight, and He has called each of us to love one another.
That’s the thing about Jesus—He tells us to do difficult stuff:
Love your neighbor. Heck, while you’re at it, love your enemies, too.
Jesus thought this was so important that He gave His disciples a “new commandment”:
Love one another as I have loved you” (John 14:12).
That must have been easy for them, right? You think?
This is the group who got to arguing about which of them was the greatest and who among them would get the seats of honor in the Kingdom (Matt. 20:21-25).
These are the same ones who wanted to burn up a Samaritan village for disagreeing with Jesus’ messengers (see Luke 9:51-56).
Yep, they even turned away the little children who wanted to come and receive a blessing from Jesus (Matt. 19:13).
I guess loving others didn’t come all that easily to the disciples. If truth be told, it doesn’t come all that easily to most of us, at least not the lay-down-your-life-for-one-another kind of love that Jesus talks about.
But Jesus insisted: If you want to be known as My disciples, then prove it by loving one another. In fact, submit to one another; lay down your life for one another; forgive one another; honor one another.
Just type “one another” into most Bible search engines and you’ll find a host of community ethics for us to follow. (Ignore the results that talk about the disciples “arguing with one another”… that’s not one of His commands!).
So, are you His disciple? Is it Jesus who you claim to follow?
Then you’ve been welcomed into a family where we get to practice loving each other. He showed you how by loving you first. Now it’s your turn to share that love with those around you.