Religion Magazine

Ye Are My Disciples

By Ldsapologetics
We are told by many that we are not Christian, that we worship a different Jesus. But how did Jesus define true discipleship?
Jesus said :"A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." John 14:34-35

Jesus did not say His disciples shall be known by their doctrine, by their theology, by the way they pray, by their grooming standards. After all dress and grooming standards are all covered in the Old Testament. And few follow them these days. But those things do not define a true Christian, loving others as Christ loves us does however.And how do we extend that love best? By telling those who are simply different that they're counterfeit? Or by loving and leading by example? Demeaning others does nothing to fulfill Christlike love.Telling others, as we are often told, that they aren't Jesus-ing properly does nothing for them or us. Leading by example does. Preaching to love the sinner but hate the sin isn't healthy either. We would do better to follow the example of Jesus and the adulteress and love the sinner and pardon the sin. Jesus said "He that is without sin may cast the first stone." Yet Jesus did not cast the first stone when only He could have. He also asked "When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more"

Jesus did pardon the sin because to suffer the punishment would have meant her being stoned to death. Jesus loved her and pardoned her sin and gave her her life and another chance.Jesus had a few things to say about how far we are expected to go to show our love even to our enemies.

39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thycloak also.

41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.

42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

43 ¶Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you." Matthew 5:39-44

The Jews during Christ's life time were under Roman occupation. Jews were regularly commandeered to carry the Romans equipment. This teaching is where the phrase "Go the extra mile" comes from. And rather than preaching that Jews should revel or hate their enemies, He taught that loving your enemies and going the extra mile is how best to handle enemies.

The love that Jesus preaches is radical and life changing. Because as Dr. King said "Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend."

When Jesus taught the ideal of service He did more than teach, He served.

"He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.

After that he poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.

Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet?

Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.

Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I washthee not, thou hast no part with me.

Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.

10 Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.

11 For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.

12 So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?

13 Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.

14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.

15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.

16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.

17 If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them." John 13:4-17

When Jesus girded Himself He was dressing as a servant. He said if He, our Lord and master, washed His disciples feet or served them, then we should also serve one another. This is why Pope Francis has made a point of doing the same. He is teaching Catholics to serve even to the point of debasing oneself.

Only when one is happy to serve is one fit to lead.

We cannot merely say we love one another, we need to show it in order for it to be meaningful. We cannot love one another when it is easy but when it is hard and difficult and trying even exhausting. How we walk with the wounded says more about us than how we sit with the great.

And how we love one another says more, proves more, about how Christian we are than what church we go to.

Saying that the church you go to is what makes you Christian is like saying that standing in a garage is what makes you a car. It wildly misses the point. One thing has nothing to do with the other. Because how we pray, our theology, our doctrine means nothing if not lived out through our love.

Ye Are My Disciples

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