“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35
Reading this text this morning shed a new light, for me, on how Christians are supposed to relate to other people that, though we are not to judge, we know or suspect are wrapped up in sin. When Jesus told the disciples that they should love one another as he loved them, he was referring to the fact that he had just assumed the servant’s role in his interactions with them by washing their feet. He was making the point that serving others in a humble, selfless manner, is just the manner in which a person should be able to be identified as a follower of Christ.
The most interesting detail that I hadn’t paid attention to before, though, is that at the point when Jesus washed his disciples’ feet, Judas Iscariot had not yet betrayed Jesus. Jesus knew that he would, though. Yet, He still knelt down in front of Judas and humbly washed the feet of Judas as a servant would. Jesus could’ve used this opportunity to criticize, rant, scold, and ultimately dismiss Judas from the group of disciples on His own terms, but, he didn’t.
The reality is that, as Christians, we are much more likely to try to separate and dismiss sinners from our clicks, circles, groups, and congregations when we should really be bent down before them, serving them in a sincere, humble, and God-honoring manner. The saying, “Love the sinner, but, not the sin,” I think, applies here and it should apply more in our daily lives: to the adulterer, the addict, the thief, and the homosexual. Because as the bible states, we have all fallen short of the glory of God and His grace is the only hope that ANY of us have.
This is so true. I think that people get so caught up in the sin instead of with the sinner that we miss opportunities to show the Jesus in us. By missing those opportunities we miss our own blessings. Great Post!! Thank you!
You make a very good point.
Jesus, when saying that we are the light and salt of the world, surely meant that we would have to be near what we salt and near the dark places that need light. Not that we should be partakers of that darkness or need salted ourselves. But, your point that we are to be Christ-like to sinners means we cannot be condemning, but live a life of hope and joy that in and of itself compels people to ask questions that draw them toward God.