By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. (John 13:35 NIV)
Jesus instructed his disciples to love one another. To love in the same way that he had loved them. This is easy to say. But much more challenging to do. It is a call to lay down our lives for each other. For most of us that probably does not entail dying. But it does mean that we put others’ interests ahead of our own.
And then, Jesus went on to say that this love will be the distinguishing mark of his disciples. The world around us should recognize that we are following Jesus because of our love for each other. We should be known by our love for each other.
How do people today recognize the disciples of Jesus? What is the distinguishing mark of a disciple in our world today? Hopefully, it is not just because we self-identify as Christians. And hopefully, it is not by what we advocate against. It should be based more on what we do and who we are as people. If we said nothing, would our neighbors and co-workers know that there was something different about us? Are we known by our love?
As disciples of Jesus, we should live godly and holy lives. We should gather together frequently. We should give to the poor and needy. There are many things that are good and proper for believers to be doing. But the thing that will set us apart as disciples of Jesus is our love for each other.
Let us be known for our love more than anything else.