These famous lyrics penned by the Beatles have become a common phrase in our culture and tend to romanticize getting along with difficult people or people with different opinions than we do. It is easy to love people who share our same views and opinions. However, it becomes challenging when that is not the case. Differences of opinion cause us to step out of our comfort zones. It causes us to have to listen patiently and emphasize with others. It causes us to consider that our opinions may be wrong – God forbid. The truth is every person, no matter where they are from, no matter their political party, no matter how different their viewpoint on life, still need and desire to know they are loved and valued.
Jesus came to establish God’s kingdom on earth. A kingdom that is so far-reaching and inclusive that everyone is invited! In this kingdom, there is a clear set of marching orders for everyone.
“Love one another. In the same way I have loved you.” (John 13:34 MSG).
Love one another – not just when it’s convenient or when we feel like it, but in the way, He loved us: with kindness and compassion. The “one another” in these verses is a reference to fellow believers. A distinguishing mark of being a follower of Christ is a deep, sincere love for brothers and sisters in Christ. The apostle John reminds us of this fact elsewhere: “He has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister” (1 John 4:21).
In giving this command, Jesus did something the world had never seen before—He created a group identified by one thing: love. In our local communities, there are many different people types. They identify themselves in many ways: skin color, uniform, shared interest, alma mater, etc. The ways people classify themselves are infinite, but the church is unique. For the first and only time in history, Jesus created a group whose identifying factor is love. There are no rules about skin color, diet, or uniforms. Followers of Christ are identified by their love for each other.
How does Jesus love:
- Unconditionally – Roman 5:8
- Sacrificially – 2 Corinthians 5:21
- With forgiveness – Ephesians 4:32
- Eternally – Romans 8:38-39
How does the believer in Christ love the way Jesus loved: Through the Holy Spirit living in Him – 1 Corinthians 6:19
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?
In loving others, we not only honor God but glorify Him. In addition, we cause other people groups to see that we are different because of our love and compassion for one another. Causing them to know that we are Christians – see, the Beatles had a point, all you need is love!