(Jesus said) "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." John 13:34-35
When I was very young, my mother and father told me that I should love everybody.
That's why, when Valentine's Day rolled around, they made sure I had a card to give to everybody in my class. When we had a birthday party, the entire room had to be invited. I was supposed to love everyone. I was even to love the person who gave me socks and underwear for Christmas. Love everybody? Well, I've tried, but it's almost impossible to do.
That's because some people rub me the wrong way.
I can almost hear you thinking, "I wonder who is on his list?"
I'll tell you. I find it hard to love the young person who drives down my street in the boom box that he calls an automobile. His stereo is always on, and it is slightly louder than the vehicles at a monster truck rally.
I'm not too keen on the guy who, ignoring the signs which say "Road Construction Ahead," races down the lane which is going to be closed and then expects someone to let him in.
I don't love sales people who, after I've politely told them, "I don't need any help," continue to shadow me like a hungry leopard might stalk an antelope.
I don't love the humorists who have confused cursing and crudeness with comedy.
I don't love the pro athlete who spits in the face of an ump or goes after a fan in the stands with fists a-swingin'. I don't love the advertisers who broadcast their commercials ten times louder than the program I'm watching.
No, I don't love everybody -- and you don't either. Almost nobody loves everybody.
You see, there is an exception to that rule. That exception is Jesus.
Jesus, the sinless Son of God, the Savior of the world, managed to love everyone. I don't know how, but He did. Think for a moment of what that meant. He loved the Pharisees who tried to trick Him, and Herod, the King, who killed babies in an attempt to eliminate any competition.
Jesus loved the priests who refused to identify Him as the Savior, and He loved the crowds who wanted to be healed and fed, but had little use for salvation. Jesus loved the disciples who slept when He needed them, and He loved Judas who betrayed Him with a kiss.
Jesus loved the Roman Procurator who decided to save his hide rather than dispense justice. Jesus loved the men who whipped Him, who spit on Him, who nailed Him to the cross.
And Jesus loved us, which is reason and example enough for us to try and do the same.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks that Jesus, in spite of my many sins, has continued to love me. May I follow His example and do all I can to love everyone -- especially those I consider to be most unlovable. In the Savior's Name I ask it. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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