You are my disciples if you have love for one another

John 13:31-35

New Revised Standard Version
13:31 When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him.

13:32 If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once.

13:33 Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’

13:34 I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.

13:35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

2 Responses to “You are my disciples if you have love for one another”

  1. Fr Paul Fenech says:

    St John, in his Gospel, uses two of three different Greek words for love, namely “philo” or “philao” and “agape” or “agapao”. We find the former 16 times and the latter 33 times. For John, agape is the distinguished love of the Christian Community, the love Jesus has for “His own”, and the love that He expects His disciples should have for one another.

    In chapter 13, we meet this word 7 times. In vers 1: “having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end”; in vers 23: “there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved”; in vers 34: “that you love one another; as I have loved you, so you also love one another”; and in vers 35: “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another”.

    What is agape? It is loving to the end; a love that knows no limit. It is the love of the beloved; a love that parts from self and rests on the other person; an interpersonal love, a love that never turns a person into an object. It is a unique love of a sole illustration “as I have loved you”; a sacrificial love, a life giving love. A very distinguishing love; a love that can only result from a personal relationship with Jesus.

    Christians do not need any uniform, any special kind of dress. Christians do not need to carry any sign, not even the cross! Christians do not need to keep away from any particular type of meat or drink. Christians do not need strict defined temples, and not even a temple! Real Christians are distinguished by this love, not any type of love, but by this particular and unique love: agape. Not all Christians are Christians; or else not all those who call themselves Christians, wear the White Dress or any liturgical dress, carry, put on or make the sign of the Cross, or go to Church deserve to be called Christians. No wonder that Christian countries are loosing their once deeply rooted faith, when the whole humanity ought to be evangelised.

    Agape-love is magnetic: “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another”. The contemporaries of the early Christians, did not only come to know the disciples of Jesus by this love, but they even became His disciples because, by, and for this love!

  2. Cassar Francis says:

    Father Paul,

    Your sermons are edifying and go to the heart. I feel encouraged by your explanation of christian life and what one should one do to follow Christ, our beloved saviour. Please, keep it up.

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