Brotherly love…. as I ponder what this really means I can’t help but wonder what the disciples must have thought and felt as they watched Jesus model this before them. In their day and time, to be humble was regarded as distasteful by the pagan world. Pride was more highly prized. So, this concept of showing brotherly love was new and very different. But they watched Jesus walk this out before their very eyes!
I decided to look up the definitions of brotherly love and came across this one that stood out to me. Brotherly Love: feelings of compassion toward one’s fellow humans. When you take a few minutes to stop and look around, or pay attention to the things going on in the world, do you see or sense brotherly love? Why not? As followers of Jesus our world should look much different!
1 Corinthians 13:1-8,13 says, “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” In other words, our lip service is just a bunch of irritating noise! “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. So now faith, hope and love, abide all three, but the greatest of these is love.” When we take time to invest in people, because Christ lives in us, He comes flowing out of us in love for others!
God is love. Jesus modeled love. One of the things Jesus said to His disciples is found in John 15:9-17: “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.”
Did you catch that last sentence? “You are my friends if you do what I command you.” First, I want to be a friend of God, not His enemy. Second, this was not a request! As disciples of Jesus, we are commanded to love everyone! When we walk in obedience to Jesus, others are drawn to Him. In John 13:34–35 Jesus is telling the disciples, “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”. Love must be the distinguishing mark of Jesus’ disciples. Our world will begin to look very different if we show brotherly love to all people!
Colossians 3:12–14 says, “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all this put-on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” People are messy! Relationships are hard. But the Spirit of Jesus who lives in you will flow through you and help you love others with a pure heart! 1 Peter 1:22
One of the hardest things I’ve had to learn is to love people, period, no matter what! Love them where they are for who they are with no strings attached and no expectations. That means even if they don’t love me back, I am commanded to show brotherly love. I am to treat people like I want to be treated, no matter how they treat me. Leviticus 19:18
Mark 12:30–31 ‘And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these. If we profess to be a disciple of Jesus, we are commanded to love!
We have lost people who need a relationship with Jesus all around us. He showed us His love when He gave his life for us. We can show others His love when we love like Jesus does!
We want to thank Janie Keller for sharing this post.