Pastor's Pondering


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Greater Love Has No One Than This

by Duane Mabee on September 28, 2022

As Jesus was making His way to the cross, He told His disciples, “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.  Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends, (John 15:12-13 ESV).  Within a matter of hours, Jesus would prove His love by dying on the cross for the disciples and for you and me. 


This Sunday, we will celebrate the fact that Jesus purchased our salvation through His death and resurrection.  He took our place on the cross and paid the debt of sin we owed – a debt we could never pay.  As we take communion together, we will receive a reminder that He allowed His body to be broken for us and He shed His blood to purchase our redemption and freedom.  It is a great visual and tactical reminder of how much God loves us.


There is another aspect of communion that we need to emphasize, however.  Jesus told us to love one another “as I have loved you” and then He said, “the greatest possible way to love one another is to lay down your life for your friends”. 


Jesus wasn’t speaking figuratively.  He literally laid His life down for His friends – including you and me – and told us to do the same.  Yes, there is a figurative aspect to this command, but, as Francis Chan says, each time we take communion together we should be able to look the believers with us in the eye and say, “I would lay down my life for you”.  Can we?


In our context it is easy to say “yes” because we know it’s highly unlikely we will ever be called on to do it.  Saying “yes” would take on a whole different meaning in many countries around the world – countries where our workers are actively calling people to follow Christ and people are actively, literally laying down their lives for each other. 


Let’s change this a little for our context.  This Sunday when we take communion together, can you look the other believers in the room in the eye and honestly say: I will lay down my preferences for you; I will lay down my comfort and convenience for you; I will lay down my finances for you; I will lay down my ego and reputation for you?  If not, are we truly practicing communion and community the way Jesus intended? 


Taking communion together means more than you are redeemed and grateful for it.  It also means you acknowledge those you receive communion with as brothers and sisters in Christ that you love like Christ loved you.  It’s one of the reasons we take communion together.