This is our last week in our Preparing for Pentecost series. We are looking at themes/chps in 40 Days Living the Jesus Creed and this week we’ll look at people and authors in the NT who expanded the Jesus Creed into their own worlds. We look today at the apostle John.
John saw a problem: Christians weren’t loving one another, so John took the “love your neighbor as yourself” element of the Jesus Creed and said we are to “love one another” — and by “one another” he meant fellow followers of Jesus. Here’s how John put it:
The commandment we have from Jesus is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also (1 John 4:21).
What’s the problem? The Jesus Creed challenges us to love every neighbor — and here’s the kicker — in spite of what we know about those people and in spite of our checkered history with them.
Loving the anonymous is easy; loving the visitor is not hard; loving the neighbor we know so well — and have a history with — is not easy. John radicalizes the Jesus Creed when he turns it into “one another.” Sometimes we might be tempted to think John’s view of love restricts it — makes it sectarian. The only ones who can say that are those who’ve never tried to love those they know the best.