Crossroads: The Command that Jesus Gave

John 13:31-35

Your Story

Talk about a time when you were intentional about loving others. What did you do? How did you feel? What were the results?

My Story and the Bible Story

Every year, our church has a service day called Beyond Our Walls. On this day, more than 300 people go out into the community to serve. Some of our families and children spend time with senior adults at assisted living facilities. They play bingo, do a craft, and get to know the older people. I love seeing the faces of these senior adults light up as they spend time with our kids. Some of them may not get many visitors, and they love having our group come. Other groups serve at various charities around our community. Some work on homes of the elderly, doing yard work, roof repair, and more for seniors who cannot do these things themselves. One group works with the city, helping keep our city parks safe and beautiful. It’s amazing to see the difference love can make. Showing love to others helps them, but it also changes us. It reminds us that we are all God’s children and that we are all loved by God. In the Gospel of John, Jesus gave his disciples and us a command.

Read John 13:31-35.

Jesus knew that he was leaving soon, and he wanted to make sure his disciples knew what to do when he was gone. There were so many things he could have told them. He could have given them a list of things to cover when they taught others. He could have given them places to travel to spread the good news about him. There are many things Jesus could have told them, but his focus was love. He gave the disciples a new commandment: to love one another. The most important thing Jesus wanted them to know was that they should love others. In fact, he said everyone would know they were followers of Jesus if they showed love. More than 2,000 years later, not much has changed when it comes to Jesus’ commands. Like the disciples, we too are called to love one another. The best way people can know that we are followers of Jesus is by seeing our love. In our world, many people are focused on themselves and what is best for them. They will do anything to get what they want. But Jesus gives us another way. Instead of only looking out for ourselves, we are called to love others. Instead of ignoring someone who needs help, Jesus wants us to help them. Instead of sleeping late every Saturday and always doing what we want to do, sometimes Jesus wants us to get up early and help others. Instead of spending all of our money on ourselves, Jesus calls us to be generous. Loving others means we think about what they need, how we can help them, and what God would want us to do. When we show others God’s love, we are showing them that we are followers of Jesus. How might you show love to others in your life?

Discussion and Prayer

1. As a family, talk about ways you have shown love to others.
2. What are some ways you can show love to others this week? This month?
3. How can you show love to others at your school? At work? In your community?
4. Pray, giving thanks for how much God loves us and asking for help in knowing how to love one another.

Rev. Jessica Asbell is the Minister to Children and Families at First Baptist Roswell, where she has been serving since 2012. She has written the children’s curriculum for Smyth & Helwys’s Annual Bible Study for the books of Daniel; Ezekiel; Luke; Jonah; 1 Corinthians; 1, 2, 3 John and Jude; Colossians; The Story of Israel’s Ancestors: Living toward a Promise; and Where Faith & Family Meet: A Book of Weekly Devotions. She has also written for CBF’s Spark and Form and for Affect in CBF’s fellowship! magazine. Married to Jonathan Oravec, Jessica reads every chance she gets.

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