While watching the orbit of Uranus, astronomers noticed that the planet didn’t seem to orbit as expected, almost as if there was another unknown planet nearby whose gravity was pulling Uranus toward it. Using mathematics, the scientists were able to compute both the position and the mass of this unknown object and then observed it for the first time in 1846: the previously unknown planet Neptune. Math allowed them to identify Neptune before they could even see it!
This reminds me of how unbelievers can see God in us before personally recognizing His reality themselves. But how? For we don’t receive a badge or jacket proclaiming to the world that we’re Jesus’ disciples when we become believers in Him. Some might choose to make this identification based on whether a person goes to church or not, but we all know it’s not that easy. It can be quite difficult to identify whether someone is a true disciple of Christ.
But in John 13, Jesus reveals how—even without any kind of outward sign—we can identify someone as a true believer: by the way they love one another. Jesus said, “I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other” (John 13:34).
This shouldn’t surprise us, given how central love is to our faith in Him. Consider that love is the greatest commandment (Matthew 22:37-38) and the ultimate fulfillment of the entire Law (Romans 13:8). Love is also the evidence that Christ is Lord over our lives. “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples,” the Savior declared (John 13:35).
Our love for one another truly reveals our love for God!
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Exodus 11:1-10; 12:29-36
Read 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 for another reminder of how important love is.
How do you typically identify someone as being a believer in Jesus? Who is God calling you to love? How is He calling you to truly love them?