How Do We “One Another” One Another?
Christ never promised His commands would be easy…simply that they would be good and if we love Him we will obey them (John 13:34-35)! How can you be both salty and at peace with others? By trusting Him!”One Another”
Our first “One Another” is found in Mark 9:50 where Jesus is giving some pretty stern warnings to His disciples after they questioned someone casting out demons in Jesus’ name because the person wasn’t following them (in their group or church so to speak). Jesus strongly exhorts His followers, along with some encouragement to those who will simply serve others (give a cup of water – v. 41 in their role as His disciples), and then closes with these words, remain salty and “be at peace with one another” (v. 50).
How’s that for contradiction and yet we know both are Truth because He is The Truth. We must never lose or compromise the potency of His Word (salty) by our words or our lives but we must also present them in such a way to build peace with each other as much as is possible and within our ability to do so. Remember this is in the context of Christ followers for in v. 40 He reminds them (and us) that “whoever is not against us is for us.”
Paul repeats this command in Romans 12:18 where he simply states that as far as it depends on us as Christ followers, live at peace with all people.
This is not about appeasing others just to avoid conflict or disagreement…that would cost us our saltiness. This is trusting in The Lord’s peace (John 14:27; 16:33) that we know assuredly by faith that we have in Him even in the midst of the struggles, disagreements and chaos. This is the peace that passes all understanding as we give thanks in all things and rejoice in Him (Philippians 4:4-7).
Don’t lose your saltiness but be ever striving for His peace in and through you! What is your Truth, tone and attitude saying to others? Are you salty and peaceful? How are you doing when it comes to being at peace with one another? Jesus in your life is the only way this can happen. Do you know Him as Savior and Lord and are you walking in His peace no matter what the world brings your way?
Our next “One Another” is one of great humility and we see it in Christ’s teaching and especially in His modeling of it in John 13:4-5, 14-15. We are called to “wash one another’s feet.”
What a great practice, literally and figuratively. If you’ve ever participated in a foot-washing event you know that both the washing of other’s and allowing other’s to wash your feet are both acts of humility in exposing ourselves emotionally and spiritually.
It’s also very interesting, and I talk about this in my book, “The Authority of Love, Second Edition,” that Jesus does several things in this setting all tied to His Love and Authority. In John 13:1 it states that He shows them the full extent of His Love. Verse 3 declares that He knows Who He Is (essence of Humility and what He is preparing to do out that Humility). In vv. 4-5 He literally removes His robe, puts on a towel and humble serves by washing each of His disciples feet, knowing that in one way or another each of them was going to abandon Him in a few short hours.
Finally we find in vv. 12-17 that Jesus ties all of this together to teach and model for His disciples and for us as His disciples today that everything He has done for them is an act of Authority. His perfect Love is the Authority and in His Kingdom this is always done through a humbles servant’s heart, hands and feet.
I have set an example before You, not simply of washing feet, but all that it entails in humility, service, and ultimately this is the Authority of Love…the only Authority that will accomplish His Kingdom will!
He says to them in v. 14, that they (we) should act accordingly by “washing One Another’s feet” in following His example. I believe this includes the literal act of washing feet from time to time but even more so the humble act of service in loving relationships is what He desires for us to have Authority (influence) in the lives of others for His Kingdom and Glory!
We certainly can wash feet and serve but we will only do it in unconditional, selfless, self-giving Love that prefers God above all others when we have first learned to Love Him and then humbly know and love who we are in Christ. Then will we learn and grow in lovingly and humbly serving others with no expectations but simply to show them His love and point them to Him.
Do you know Him in this way? Do you know who you truly are in Him (humility)? Are you serving others in loving humility as an overflow of Christ in you?
I’ve shared that this “One Another” series includes 59 “One Anothers” in Scripture. To be clear that’s how many times “one another” appears in The New Testament. However, it is interesting that all of these phrases point to the ultimate “one another” which is to “love one another” and that phrase alone appears 11 of the 59 times in Scripture.
As we work and study through these we’ll take a look at the context and trust The Holy Spirit to teach us more of Godly Love in each situation.
The first “love one another” is actually mentioned twice in the same verse (John 13:34) as one of the most powerful commands that Jesus gives in line with the second greatest command for us to love others as we love ourselves. Any time in Scripture that The Holy Spirit has an author repeat what it said we need to pay close attention and perhaps none more than in this text. Jesus is telling us that we are to love others as He has loved (and does love) us.
This is no way negates the First and Greatest Command as that would diminish His Word and Truth and we know that can’t happen. So this double “love one another” as He loves us comes from the Source of God’s Love and our loving Him!
Do you know how much He loves you? Are you growing in your love for others in that same way?
Remember there are 11 “Love one anothers” in Scripture and most are in John’s Gospel of letters. So our next “one another” is another “love one another” (trying saying that 3 times fast) following right on the heels of Jesus new command in John 13:34. In v. 35 He literally describes how others (other believers and the world)…”all” will know that we are His followers by the way we love one another!
Does your love for others (spouse, children, family, church family, friends, acquaintances, even enemies) show others that you are a disciple of Jesus Christ?
Love and Lordship…Food for Thought – You can’t love others until you first love God and know and love who you are in Christ. Only then can we truly love one another in such a way that “all” others will know that we belong to Him…it is by our love that they will know who we are and have an opportunity to know our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ!
Love and Lordship…Action Item(s)
- Spend time with Him in His Word and prayer daily – read and study the Scriptures in this post as a way to start
- Ask The Holy Spirit to teach you
- Ask someone you love how you’re doing when it comes to loving him/her?
- Ask The Lord to show you someone who has seemed unlovable to you… and then ask Him to show you how you can begin to love him/her.