Focal passage: John 15:9-17
In the “Farewell Discourse” (John 13:31-17:26), Jesus gives some final instructions to His disciples on the eve of His execution.
In John 15:9-17, our Savior commands us: “Love one another” (John 15:17). As disciples of Jesus, we should love others just as He loves us. Of course, in order to love others like Jesus loves us, we have to experience His saving love through faith. Once God’s love has filled our hearts, we are able to love others from the overflow of His love. After all, because we are friends (John 15:13-14) with Jesus, His love for us is demonstrated by His willingness to lay down His life so that we may have eternal life.
Likewise, as His friends we are called to follow Him with loving obedience. The Bible also says, “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Due to God’s unconditional love toward us, we can show love to others – whether they deserve it or not.
The 2000 film, “Pay It Forward,” tells the story of a troubled boy named Trevor who develops a plan to make the world a better place by helping others. Instead of paying one person back when he receives help, Trevor starts a movement of “paying it forward” by finding opportunities to help three new people.
The idea of “paying it forward” directly follows the logic of Jesus’ commandment to love others. Christ first loved us and while we can love Him and remain in His love, we must pass His love on to others. Later in his life, John the Apostle said, “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth” (1 John 3:18). What about you? Do you love others? If we are really Jesus’ friends who remain in His love, we will forgive others and show kindness and compassion to those in need.