Sounds like a dumb question, doesn’t it?
So what did Jesus command us directly?
“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44, NASB)
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)
“This is my commandment, that you love one another, even as I have loved you.” (John 15:12)
“You are my friends if you do what I command you.” (John 15:14)
“This I command you, that you love one another.” (John 15:17)
None of these is a surprise. We have all seen them before.
But what strikes you about them?
I suggest two things:
First, what is the most common word Jesus uses? Love! Love for our enemies. Love for those who persecute us. Love for Jesus. Love for each other. And not just a nice cozy peck. Love even as Jesus has loved us. Spend a moment right now and think about how Jesus went about loving us.
Second, is there anything Jesus commanded us that did not involve intense, sacrificial love? This blew me away. When you think about the vast scope of Jesus’s ministry on earth – miracles, teaching, confrontations with stifling tradition, stunning parables – there was only one thing he directly commanded us.
To love, as Jesus loved us.
So in the Great Commission, when Jesus tells us to go and teach new disciples to obey all the Jesus commanded us, are we qualified to be leaders in any way if we do not first practice what we preach?
No, Jesus does not say “practice.” He orders us.
Will you repent with me today?