Christianity is not a religion, its a relationship. This relationship is founded on the belief that because God first loved us and gave His son for us, we have the ability to love Him back. As Christians we are called to live out this love for God on a daily basis. This presents a challenge however because its not always easy to understand how we are supposed to love God when we cant see Him or feel Him. This brings us to the question, “How do we show love to Jesus?”
To find the answer to this question we can look to a moment in time described in the book of John. John records a moment when Jesus is telling His disciples that He will soon be leaving them. Upon hearing this news the disciples are discouraged and wondering what they are to do. Jesus begins to comfort His disciples and in this time He tells them how to show their love for Him when He is no longer physically present. He says in John 14:15, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” And again in John 14:21, “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me…”
This brings us to the conclusion: to show our love for Jesus, we must do what He asks.
Pretty simple right? Jesus is teaching us that we show that we love Him when we obey what He asks. When we obey what Jesus teaches us we show that we actually care about what He says and it shows we believe what He says to be true.
Jesus is encouraging His disciples to not only be people who say they love Him but to be people who live it out. He wants our love to be shown in actions and not in words alone. We show our love for Him when we obey His commands. The natural question that should follow here Is what does Jesus ask of us? What is His commandment?”
In John 13:34-35 Jesus gives this answer:
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
So what does He ask? Jesus asks us to love one another.
This brings us to an interesting thought then… If we love Jesus by obeying what He asks, and He asks that we love one another as He loved us, then We love Jesus by showing love to others.
Jesus illustrates this truth beautifully in the book of Matthew. Jesus paints us a really amazing picture of why loving one another is so important. At this moment in Matthew Jesus is telling about after He returns to the earth to establish His kingdom. Jesus tells that the righteous will be standing at His right and the unrighteous will be standing at His left. This is the scene Jesus sets, and He follows with this thought provoking speech:
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:34-40)
When we love others, we literally are showing love for Jesus. This heightens the importance of showing love to those around us. Christians are to be people defined by love and it is by our love that the world will know Jesus. Loving God is tied directly to loving others and it is for this reason that we need to live every day intentionally focusing on loving others.