Growing with one another
LESSON 1: LOVE ONE ANOTHER, LIKE JESUS DID
Welcome to Bible Study Central, I’m Myles MacMillan and this is Lesson 1 in our “Growing with One Another” Lesson Series.
This series is going to be built on the “one-another” commands in the New Testament. Practicing our faith was never meant to be done alone because God made us to be relational. Interacting and working with other people is amazing but as experience has probably taught all of us, it can also be very challenging at times. Fortunately for us, the bible has a great deal to say about how we can get better at interacting with one another.
As I mentioned, in this series we will be using scripture from the New Testament. The Greek word translated as “one another” is “allēlōn” and it appears 100 times in the New Testament and about 47 of those times, the phrase is used to give a command for how people should relate to one another. In this series, we will look at many of those 47 commands and draw out some of the incredible teaching that we can apply to our lives today.
The “Growing with One Another” series will focus on how we can apply these commands in our family units at home. The family is the building block of the church and society so if we can learn to practice these commands with one another at home, we will also be able to apply them to every area of our lives. Even if you do not have a spouse or family, this series will still be very applicable and beneficial to you because the one-another commands in scripture have wide application to every follower of Jesus Christ.
The first idea we are going to explore in this series is the command to Love One Another. This is probably the most important and foundational of all the one-another commands and it’s why we’re going to start here. In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus said that the first and greatest command was to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. He says the second greatest is to love your neighbor as yourself. In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul says love must be the motivation for all our actions, otherwise it is worth nothing in God’s eyes. It is clear from scripture that Love must be at the foundation of everything we do. With that in mind, let’s begin our first lesson called: Love one Another, Like Jesus Did.
In the Gospel of John, we read about Jesus’ last hours on earth. It’s important to see that Jesus chose to spend that time with His disciples. In John 13, see Jesus performing the incredible act of washing His disciple’s feet, and after this, He begins speaking to them about love.
John 13:33-36 (NIV)
33 “My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come. 34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” 36 Simon Peter asked him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus replied, “Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.”
Jesus spends His last hours on earth giving this important message to His followers. He could have just simply said that they needed to love one another and that would have been enough, but what He said was so much more powerful than that. Jesus says that His disciples must love one another “as I have loved you”. This sets the bar to a whole new level and begs the question: “how did Jesus love His disciples?” or “how does Jesus love us?”.
We know that the depth of His love for us wasn’t a mere emotion or feeling that He had. His love for us was based on a decision to do what was best for us, despite what that might have personally cost Him. Jesus didn’t think about Himself; He didn’t see His love as something that depended on how others treated Him. He didn’t stop doing what was best for us if He was having a bad day or if we didn’t deserve it. This is the standard that He set for us to follow in our marriages, in our families and in every relationship we have.
This concept is so important and foundational that Jesus also makes this amazing claim to His disciples in the next verse: “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Did you catch that? Jesus says that when people look at us, the way they will know if we are followers of Him is what? How correct we are? How powerful we are? How well we provide for each other? No, He says the defining characteristic for people who follow Him will be the way that they show love to one another, the same type of self-sacrificing, unselfish love that He showed to all of us. Now that is a powerful teaching!
This has massive implications for us in how we treat one another in our families. If we are going to follow this command from Jesus, we need to be willing to put the interests of others ahead of our own, we need to be willing to be humble and do things that might hurt for the benefit of our families. We may need to sacrifice having things done exactly the way we want, we may have to do some things that we don’t agree with and we need to find ways to show love to others, even if we don’t think they deserve it. Why do this? Here are three reasons for us to get started:
- Because that is what our Lord did for us, and we should treat others like we’ve been treated
- This is how we will be able to make the greatest impact in our families, churches and society
- Because this is ultimately what will glorify Jesus as the Lord of our lives
There is much more to discuss on this extremely important topic. Next time, in lesson 2, we will look at another motivation for why we should choose to love like Jesus did. Because of the amazing reward that we get to look forward to in heaven. See you next time!
Read and reflect on these Bible verses:
33 “My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come. 34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” 36 Simon Peter asked him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus replied, “Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.”John 13:33-36 (NIV)
After Jesus washes His disciple’s feet, He says these words to them in John 13:14-15 “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you”.
What example is Jesus referring to that He has set for us?
Does He expect us to literally wash each other’s feet?
What is the larger principle being taught here?
Add your ideas to the discussion in the comments section!
- Sign Up