Shortly after Jesus had washed their feet, he turned to his disciples and said, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” (John 15:12)
If I had been in the room when Jesus said that, I’d be looking around at all the disciples and knowing immediately which of them would be hardest to love. My thoughts might have gone something like this:
Look at Peter. He’s always shooting off his mouth and getting into trouble. Sometimes I wish he would just quit showing off and be quiet. Loving Peter is a daily challenge.
Then there’s Simon the Zealot. His political views drive me crazy. If he had his way, we’d be at war the Romans right now. Loving him may be beyond my capability.
And how about James and John? They’re nice enough guys, but there’s a reason Jesus calls them “Sons of Thunder”. Oh the fights they can get into when the anger flares! Not too lovable at those times.
Then I might notice that some of them were looking at me and I’d realize they might be thinking the same thing: ‘How can Jesus expect me to love her?’
When I think about it, there are times when I may not be very lovable either. I guess we all have issues, don’t we? But, for some unfathomable reason, Jesus loves us all – even on our worst days. And he expects us to do the same for each other. Dear Father in heaven, I’m going to need your help!
“Tragedy is that our attention centers on what people are not, rather than on what they are, and who they might become.” – Brennan Manning