Jesus said to his disciples:
“This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
No one has greater love than this,
to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command you.
I no longer call you slaves,
because a slave does not know what his master is doing.
I have called you friends,
because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.
It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you
and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain,
so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.
This I command you: love one another.” (Jn 15:12-17)
I have lots of “stuff”.
I am not necessarily attached to any of it; though, I do treasure a great amount of it.
But, if necessary, I would be willing to divest myself of any of it or, even, all of it.
But, my life?
The Lord truly does ask us to “go the extra mile”, does He not? Greater love has no one than to lay down his life for his friends?
I love my friends dearly, yes, I do. And I would — I really think I would — be more than willing to lay down my life for them.
But the kicker today is that Jesus is not talking about our very close, personal friends.
Jesus calls ALL people friends and He wishes for us to do the same as well.
That means that we should be willing to give our all for anyone. That’s right: ANYONE.
Is that something that we are willing to do? If not, we need to ask ourselves, “Why not?” Because, just as Jesus calls us friends, as He calls us brothers and sisters, He challenges us to regard each other in just the same way.
It is easy to say that I would give my life for a family member or for a very good friend. It is much more difficult to say that I would be willing to give my life for someone I do not know or, even more, for someone I dislike.
“Dislike” is not in the Lord’s vocabulary. Nor should it be in ours. “This I command you: Love one another.”
FAITH ACTION: How far are you willing to go to help someone in need today?