Audio version at: https://youtu.be/DmGTr_12wV8
Prepare to Listen. In your silence, offer this prayer: You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
Prayerfully Read John 15:12-17
12‘This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. 16You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. 17I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.
“You are my friends if you do what I command you.” Are we supposed to earn Jesus’ friendship through obedience? I don’t think so! And, what are these commands that, when obeyed prove we’re friends of Jesus? He only gave one, repeated six times in his farewell address (Jn 14-16) and twice in today’s passage in the mid-section of his address—love one another. Paul said that the whole law is summed up in one commandment, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself” (Gal 5:14). This, and nothing else, is the litmus test, the way we know whether we’re friends of Jesus (Christians) or not. As Tomáš Halík rightly suggests, “What really matters to God and what he will presumably judge us by are not our opinions but the nature and degree of our love” .
One another isn’t merely our fellow saints, the family, people like us. One another incorporates all people, regardless of race, creed, skin color, gender orientation, whether foe or friend. We’re friends of Jesus, not because of our moral or theological or political views and ideals, but because we love one another. It’s that simple, yet so profound few of us are ready for it. We love our tribe, those who agree with us and support our ideals, even if we’re wrong. But Jesus calls us to the profound, life-transforming love that excludes no one. The world will know we’re Christian when they see this kind of love. You are my friends, said Jesus, because you love one another. Do you?
Jesus defined love (v13) as ‘laying down your life for another.’ How can you live this love today?
Respond to Jesus
Living your way, Jesus, a way that loves people as you loved them, letting go of my agendas and ideals, isn’t easy, but it’s what you called me to and thus I know you will empower me to live like you, with love, today. Amen.
Go live obediently in the world as Jesus’ friend, loving one another.
 Halík, Tomáš. I Want You to Be. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2016, p. 27.
Reflection on Scripture has been a constant in my life ever since I can remember. Reflecting on Jesus in the Gospels has become a necessity to get Jesus right. Join me in reading John to see Jesus more clearly this Lent.