“A new command I give you: I have loved you,
so you must love one another.
By this all men will know that you are my disciples,
if you love one another.”
John 13:34 (NIV)
The scene is in the upper room. Judas has departed to attend to his plans. Jesus had excused him from the meal. After Judas left, Jesus spoke of His being glorified and of the Father’s glorification as well as His own. Jesus tells them his time with them is short. He also tells them they cannot follow Him (at that time.) He then gives them a new command: “As I have loved you, love one another.” How do these eleven men manage to carry this out?
Shortly after this scene, it seems each of them go his separate way. They do this because the message Jesus had tried to give them didn’t make sense. They were grief-stricken. They chose to go to the place where Mary was because something inside them may have told them that they would find peace if they were all together.
We, in the 21st Century, do the same thing. When something tragic or unhappy happens, believers congregate together to console each other. We send encouragement or condolence cards. These acts are born of love.
Recently, a lady from our church went home to be with Jesus. She was 98 years old. My visitation partner and I saw her about every other week. When a group from the church went Christmas caroling, her assisted living facility was the second place we visited. She was elated and even had us go down the hall so she could introduce our pastor to one of her friends. Everyone who knew this lady loved her. She had some good stories to tell about her life.
We know this lady is in heaven with Jesus. Her family has been through some very tough times. God’s people are praying for them.