November 7, 2018
John 13:31-35 New Living Translation (NLT)
From my earliest memories, my mother used to have a saying when she was skeptical about an opinion that someone was embracing as truth, “The proof is in the pudding.” When I was young I really did not understand this idiom, but as I have gotten older I do. Mother’s version of the phrase was based on the modification of an old proverb which read, “The proof of the pudding is in the eating.” Pudding can look really good on the outside and someone can tell you it is delicious, but actually taste lousy; so we should not believe it is true based on words or appearances alone. When my mother said, “The proof is in the pudding” she meant when something is put to the test truth is revealed.
In our passage today, Jesus is preparing his disciples for his death and the reality of the fact they cannot go with him. As he does so he gives the disciples a “new commandment.” It is really not a new commandment, but it is a part of the new covenant. The mark of faithfulness to the new covenant is agape (selfless, sacrificial, and unconditional love) for those within the community of faith. The focus is on loving action rather than simply loving feelings. Jesus always translated agape into action that benefit others and he calls us to do the same. It is agape that Jesus had for the Father and for his followers. We may not always “feel” affection for others, but it is not impossible to be a help and source of support to them. As far as our agape goes, the proof is in the pudding…the selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love and respect we extend to others will be tangible.
John 13:31-35 Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial
31 As soon as Judas left the room, Jesus said, “The time has come for the Son of Man[a] to enter into his glory, and God will be glorified because of him. 32 And since God receives glory because of the Son,[b] he will give his own glory to the Son, and he will do so at once. 33 Dear children, I will be with you only a little longer. And as I told the Jewish leaders, you will search for me, but you can’t come where I am going. 34 So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. 35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
Prayer: Lord, my love has been put to the test many times and I know it will continue. I say I follow my first love Jesus Christ; may my love walk prove it. In Jesus’ name. Amen.