John 13:35- “All will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
My pastor began with a powerful and extremely relevant verse this week. When Jesus says ‘one another’ this does not simply refer to other Christians. This means all other creations of God: regardless of gender, religion, race, sexuality, etc. You don’t have to agree with someone to love them. You don’t have to like someone to love them.
When the Bible says to love the human race that doesn’t necessarily mean that we have to give everyone a hug and birthday present. This simply means to respect them as a human being, a creation of the Holy Father, and to be, at the very least, decent to them. In this day and age, this message is so powerful, especially in our community. Last Wednesday, there was a shooting at a local bar and grill. It is now believed and widely agreed upon by witnesses that this was hate crime against two men from the Middle East. He yelled at them to ‘go back.’ One white man stood up for them and took a bullet for them. The white man and one of the other man are now stable and expected to fully recover. The other man died in the hospital. This was quite the tragedy for our church and though it is upsetting it has brought us together as a community because those who held prejudices in their hearts before, now understand the need for love.
Jesus Ignores A Woman In Need
The next part of the sermon was over the story of the Gentile Woman in Matthew 15 starting at verse 20. After being criticized before his disciples for healing on the sabbath day, Jesus decided to go to Canaan. There, a gentile woman begged at the feet of Jesus to please heal her daughter who had a demon inside of her. She even called him Lord, Jesus, Son of David! At first, Jesus ignored her! The disciples said, “Send her away for all her begging.” Jesus looked down at the woman and said, “I am here only to serve the lost people of Israel.” But, the woman would not give up! Finally Jesus turned to her and said, “It is wrong to throw bread to the dogs when the children are hungry.”
Now, if you’re like me, then you’re probably thinking, ‘Why in the world would Jesus ignore this woman who is pleading, calling him Lord, and then call her a dog?!’ Just hang in there with me, I’ll get there in a second. For obvious reasons, most preachers tend to avoid this story, but you’ll see why they shouldn’t.
So Jesus called the woman a dog, and how does she reply? “Yes, Lord, but even the dogs are allowed to eat the crumbs that fall from the tables of their masters.” Then Jesus turned to her and answered, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed that very instant.
The story ends with a very nice little conclusion. We all knew Jesus was gonna help her in the end, happily ever after. But, what was with Jesus ignoring her? Now, it is not specifically written, but because of lack of descriptive language and tone in this writing, I believe that Jesus was wanting his disciples to stand up for her. He used it is a) a teachable moment for His disciples and b) a test of the woman’s faith.
How to Show the Love of Jesus
In the past, we have discussed how to show love through four mediums.
- Place value on the other person
- Listen to them
- Speak the truth
- And, newly, show your love.
We must value people the way that Jesus did, no matter who they are. We must listen to what they say and be in tune with the Lord enough to see what it is they really mean as well. As Christians, we must be willing to love people enough to tell them the truth. With this one, it applies less to the masses and more to your close friends and family. Of course, you should be honest to everyone, but what we mean here is telling people when they may not be walking down the right path. But, be sure that we are always speaking the truth in love. And with this, share the Truth with everyone! The gospel is made for everyone! Once you have come to Jesus and been forgiven, it is your mission to lead others to Jesus. If not because God has told us to, then because you want your friends to have the immense joy and hope that you do, you want your family to go to heaven with you! Here also, speak the Truth in love! You will never argue someone into being a Christian. The whole point of Jesus’ message is love. Show your joy and love and hope, and soon others will see that there is something different about you. Be Jesus without ever having to say ‘Jesus.’
Lastly, we must show our love as the Father showed his love for us. Now, most people know John 3:16 but here is a different perspective of showing the love of God.
1 John 4:9-10New International Version (NIV) 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
We receive such great love that we surely cannot hold it within ourselves! Be a lighthouse of Jesus’ love wherever you go! And even when it is hard, know that the Lord and the Holy Spirit are always with you in your ventures. They will always protect and help you, no matter what.
I thoroughly enjoyed this sermon! Remember, this is a paraphrased version of the sermon my pastor has given, recorded through notes. I feel that this is really relevant in the Christian community nowadays. I feel that many are being led down a path of hate. So, to have a message of such profound love is really necessary. God bless you all and I hope that you have an amazing, blessed week.
Peace and Love,