I love reading about the life of John the Apostle. He had an interesting life.
He was one of Jesus’ closest disciples. In the Gospel the he wrote, he doesn’t even list himself by name, but instead calls himself the disciple that Jesus loved. He was the disciple that remained at the foot of the cross, and after Good Friday, Mary went with John to his home.
But, he also had a temper. And had some pride issues. After a town rejected Jesus, he asked Jesus to call down fire from heaven upon them, and Jesus rebuked him for it.
Later, he and his brother James were arguing over who would be greatest in the kingdom, and Jesus told them that they were missing the point.
So, we see that John had great moments of faithfulness, but also many faults.
I like him because he sounds like all of us. Moments of faithfulness, moments of failure.
And in this we see today, John tell us what he had learned
I am writing to remind you, dear friends, that we should love one another. This is not a new commandment, but one we have had from the beginning. Love means doing what God has commanded us, and he has commanded us to love one another, just as you heard from the beginning.
Everything else fades. John had done more with his life than most of us would ever wish to. He had seem more than we could ever imagine. He had literally walked with Jesus, and had been a pillar in the birth of the church.
And as he wrote to others about what mattered most in the Christian faith, that is what he said – love. It is the greatest of all the commandments. Everything else pales in comparison to love. It is the fulfillment, purpose, and whole of the law.
So, today, let us place others ahead of ourselves. Let us look first to them. Let us do unto others as we would have them do unto us. Let us love. And in love, we find our purpose for our lives.
Today, let us be an example of God’s love to everyone. Let us shine forth that love to everyone. Let us radiate that love to everyone. You were made for that. And that is God’s greatest commandment for you.
Today, let us love.