Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Easter 5 Homily - John 13:34

A New Commandment

Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you that you love one another.” Can there be anything new about love? Hasn’t all been said in love stories, love poems, and love songs? To love is not a new commandment. From the Old Testament the Lord was very clear on the matter, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind, and with all your strength. And, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”[Leviticus 19:18)

The commandment is not new. But the love is new. This is the kind of love the world does not know. It is Christian love. The new kind of love the Christian is called to give is a new kind of love. We love “As I have loved you.

1. A Universal love – Jesus loved all regardless of race, sex, or moral condition.
A. He is universal – God so loved the world. John 3:16a
B. It includes every person – every man, every woman, every boy and every girl.
C. No one is excluded from Jesus’ love. You can’t be too bad for Jesus.

2. An unmerited love – Jesus loved persons as persons, not because they were worthy of His love.
A. No one is worthy. There is not a righteous man on earth who does what is right and never sins. – Ecclesiastes 7:20
B. For all have sinned. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23

3. A sacrificial love – Jesus loved all the way, even to total sacrifice. His love had a cross on it.
A. The ultimate kind of love. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13 Then He continues “and you are my friends…” John 15:14
B. This love is to be expressed in being witnesses of the Savior’s mercy and grace. Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God; and such we are. For this cause the world knows us not, because it knew Him not. 1 John 3:1

We are simply called to mimic the Savior’s love. This is what it means to be His witnesses. As Christ’s ambassador – you model the love of Christ. Continue, “Lift High the Cross, the love of Christ proclaim, ‘till all the world, adore, His sacred name.”

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