4.23.2016

John 13:1-17, 31-35 (1)

ppt

Jesus loves our neighbors as much as he loves us
(Love like Jesus)
Reading: John 13:1-17, 31-35
K-hymns: 499, 502

Jesus loved his students.
Spending three years with them, Jesus even showed them how to love.
Then because they were loved, they could love as well.

For example, today Jesus washed the feet of his students.
Jesus also washed the feet of Peter and Judas Iscariot.
In this way, Jesus shows them how to love.

But why did Jesus wash their feet?
Because it was the dirtiest part of body.
You know, they wore sandals without any socks in those days.

Jesus would like to serve to take care of the dirtiest part.
Namely, Jesus would take care of their sins: their dirtiest part.

Jesus is teaching that when we love someone, we may need to wash or take care of their dirty part: their sins.
We may need to carry with them the burden of their sins as they were being sanctified.
Something to think about, right?
Then we may love like Jesus.

After loving them like this, Jesus gave them this new commandment:
Jesus was commissioning them to love like him.
Jesus was like:
"Love one another.
How much?
As much as I have loved you.
When you love one another, people will know that you are my disciples.”

But someone may ask:
How much did Jesus love them?
Jesus laid down his life for them.

Jesus laid down his life for all of his students.
Jesus even laid down his life for those who left him or denied him.
Jesus even laid down his life for those who disowned him or betrayed him.
Jesus even laid down his life for those who misunderstood him.

Why did Jesus lay down his life for all people like that?
Because he saw a great value in each person’s life.
So Jesus loved them and hoped for them and trusted them.

So Jesus helped them to believe in him.
He healed them.
He fed them spiritually.
Jesus taught them and encouraged them to do what he did.

Then after risen from the death, he came back to his students to create the church.
Why did Jesus need to create the church?
Jesus needs the church through which he could continually heal people.
Jesus needs the church through which he could give God’s word to this world.
Jesus needs the church where he could continually give his Holy Spirit.
Jesus needs this church community through which he gives God’s hope to this world.
Jesus needs the church through which he could teach people about God’s love and about how to love.
Jesus needs the church where people experience the unconditional love of God.
So Jesus needs the church where people would not be judged or condemned.
Jesus needs the church where people rest awhile in God’s love.

Still today Jesus empowers his people with the Holy Spirit so that God’s dream may be accomplished on earth.
Jesus encourage us to pray for this.
So we pray that we may be filled with the Holy Spirit.
We pray that we may have God’s Spirit with us.
Then we may be able to live like Jesus.
We may be able to serve and love people.
We may be able to serve efficiently, effectively and productively.
We may love wisely like Jesus.
We may be able to serve people in the way of God.

Today Jesus also reminds us of our goal at this church:
Our goal is to love and be loved.
We are called to love and be loved.
We are learning to love here.
We learn to respect each other.
We learn to respect those who do not think like us and act like us.
We learn to love those who is difficult to love and be loved.
Jesus wants us to love them as much as he loves us.

So here at the church, our job is to practice love.
But what does that mean really?
It means that sometimes, we wait patiently for others to grow.
Sometimes, we wait while others serve.
Sometimes, we allow them to serve in their own way so that they may learn to serve like Jesus eventually.
We humble ourselves and wait.
We listen to understand our differences.
We work to see their great value.
We learn to work easily with others.
We learn to forgive each other.
We learn to have a good character.
We learn to live in harmony.
We learn to live gently.
We allow the Spirit of Jesus to make harmony in the body of Jesus.

When we try to live like this, we are trying to live like our Heavenly Father.
When we try to live like this, we are trying to live like God the Father who loves us and is patient and gentle with us and gave the Son of God to suffer for us.
So we try to learn from God.
In order to learn from God, we do a lot of things at our church.
We worship God, because we become what we worship.
We praise God so that God may be more visible in our life.
We give offerings to God as we try to find ways to love and serve our neighbors.

Then Jesus helps his church to serve people and produce more God’s fruits effectively and efficiently.
Jesus helps his church to serve effectively.
Jesus helps us to make good decisions to run his church for his people.
Jesus helps us to have his productivity and effectiveness among us.
Jesus sends his good ideas so that we may love and serve easily.

Living like this, we learn that we are God’s minister.
Living like this, we learn that we need to follow our own calling.
We also offer other people opportunities to serve in their own way so that they may learn eventually God’s way.

But then this kind of situation may happen.
I don't see this happening in our church.
But this kind of situation may happen in some church.

There is someone who work very efficiently.
This person produce something good for the community.
But this person has a habit of hurting other people’s feeling.
This person breaks the harmony.
This person may do unconsciously without knowing.
Then what should the church do to maintain love and harmony among us.

One time, some disciples of Jesus were like that, too.
How then did Jesus help them?
When someone broke the harmony among them, Jesus guided them to welcome children in his name.
Jesus guides them to welcome the kingdom of God like children.
Jesus is asking them to have a simple and pure heart.

Also Jesus asks them be servants.
Jesus wants them to relax so that God may continually work among them.
In this way, Jesus heals their minds.

Then Jesus says today, our goal is to love one another.
Our goal is to learn to work together.
Our goal is to love each other.

Then people will know we are the disciples of Jesus.
Then people will know that there is a church of Jesus the Christ.
Then people will know that there is God and that we are God’s disciples.

When we honor each other, people will know that there is God and that we are God’s disciples.
When we speak in love and in truth, people will know that there is God and that we are God’s disciples.
When we trust people and hope for them, people will know that there is God and that we are God’s disciples.

When we try to serve prisoners and do mission work, people may sense that there is God and that we are God’s disciples.
When we protect people, people will know that there is God and that we are God’s disciples.
When we are patient with each other, when we are kind to each other, when we are humble and honor God together, then people will know that there is God and that we are God’s disciples.

There was a TV personal who tried to love others in this way.
He said this in TV over and over.
Guess who this is:
“You made this day a special day, by just you being you.
There is no person in the world like you.
And I like you, just the way you are.”

Can you guess who said this?

He was Mr. Rogers from Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood.
He was also a pastor.
But as a pastor, his calling was to give this expression of care in TV.
He believed that everyone needs to hear this so that they may be healed.
People don't hear this enough.
But God is saying this to everyone:

So he says this every time, so that this truth may heal us.
So let’s hear this again:
“You made this day a special day, by just you being you.
There is no person in the world like you.
And I like you just the way you are.”

Mr Rogers also said something like this:
“I want those who were listening somehow to know that they had a unique value.
There is not anybody in the whole world exactly like them.
There never has been and there never will be.
And they are loved by the Person who created them in a unique way.
If they could know that and really do it and have that behind their eyes, they could look with those eyes on their neighbor and realize:
‘My neighbor has a unique value too.
There's never been anybody in the whole world like my neighbor and there never will be.’
If they could value that person, if they could love that person in ways that we know that the Eternal loves us, then I'll be very grateful.”

Today Jesus asks us to love each other as he loves us.
Jesus finds a good unique value in each one of us.
And Jesus hopes that we may find a good unique value in each other.

May we learn to love like Jesus.
May we be wise enough to love and choose harmony.
In this way, may we be able to show his love that Jesus shows us.
May we be able to share his love.

Let’s pray:
Jesus, thank you for showing how to love.
You have given us the good example.
Help us to be empowered by the Holy Spirit to love like you.
In Jesus name, we pray.
Amen.