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A New Kind Of Love

John 13:18-35 • September 16, 2020 • w1303

Pastor John Miller continues our study through the gospel of John with a message through John 13:18-35 titled, “A New Kind Of Love.”

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Pastor John Miller

September 16, 2020

Sermon Scripture Reference

The key to our study tonight is John 13:35, actually our last verse; that is, Jesus saying, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” Sometimes it gets a little difficult to determine who a Christian is. There are people that act or speak like a Christian, maybe they have a cross around their neck or go church, but we know that’s no guarantee that they are truly children of God. Jesus gives us (verse 35) the birthmark of a true believer. He said, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” Love is the mark of a true, authentic, and genuine believer.

In verses 18-30, we see the first section of this passage, Jesus and Judas, the false disciple. Secondly, verses 31-35, we see Jesus and the mark of a true disciple. I wanted to give you that twofold outline because it kind of ties it all together where Jesus shows us the false disciple, Judas Iscariot, who is the ultimate hypocrite and apostate. He then contrasts that with this is the mark of a true disciple, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples,” that you are characterized, marked by, true love, “one to another.”

As I introduced last Wednesday night, Jesus is in the Upper Room Discourse, but He doesn’t start the discourse until we actually get to verse 31. He doesn’t actually start the teaching and the instruction until tonight where we come to verse 31, I’ll draw your attention to that, and it runs to the end of John 16. In John 17, still considered Upper Room Discourse, He prays His great high-priestly prayer. It starts off with some interaction, Jesus and the disciples washing their feet, Jesus and Judas, then Jesus and Peter, and then Jesus begins to teach in John 14, “Let not your heart be troubled.” One of the recurring phrases that He has through this Upper Room Discourse in John 13-17 is the phrase in which He uses the statement, “These things I have spoken unto you.” In that statement He tells us why He gave the discourse. We’ll see them as we go through, and I’ll draw your attention to that. One of the reasons why He gave this Upper Room Discourse is so that their hearts would not be troubled. They know He’s going to heaven, and that one day they’ll be caught up to be with Him in His Father’s house.

In John 13:18-30, as I said, we have Jesus and Judas, the false disciple. Let’s begin to read in verse 18. Jesus says, “I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me,” that’s a reference to Judas Iscariot, “Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he.” The word “he” is italicized in the King James translation, at least, and He’s actually just saying, we’ll come back to that, that you believe that I Am. He uses that “I Am” statement, ego eimi. Then, He says, “Verily, verily,” or truly, truly, or amen, amen, “I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. 21 When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.”

In this section that I just read, we have the prediction of Judas Iscariot. We aren’t talking about Judas, even though his name has not yet been mentioned. If you go back to verses 2, 10, and 11, you’ll see a very clear reference there in John 13 that is reference to Judas Iscariot—the time of Christ’s death by crucifixion had come, and Judas would betray Jesus. Now we come to the point where he is released from the upper room and the little episode of Him dipping the sop and handing it to Judas and exposing him to John and Peter that he’s the one who would betray Him. He says, “I speak not of you all,” that is a reference to Judas Iscariot, “I’m speaking not to him.” He’s going to speak to the disciples, and after Judas leaves the upper room, then Jesus is starting His Upper Room Discourse. Jesus says (verse 18), “…that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.” I want you to note that in verse 18. This is a prophecy, and it comes from the Psalms.

In Psalm 41:9, the psalmist, David, said, “Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom…did eat bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.” In the context of the Psalms, it’s a reference to a man by the name of Ahithophel. Ahithophel was a trusted counselor of King David. When David’s son Absalom rebelled against him, his counselor, his confidant, his close friend, Ahithophel, turned against David and followed in the rebellion with David’s own son, Absalom. In the Old Testament, though it has a reference to Ahithophel, it’s, like so many Old Testament passages, the New Testament writers, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, point out that it’s actually prophetic and referencing Judas Iscariot who would betray Jesus Christ, so it’s also Messianic.

Now, you might also think of it as what is called a type in the Old Testament or a picture. It’s called a “type,” and the word “type” is the word topos. It was used of a tool that they would use to stamp an impression on steel or metal. It’s a picture of something that is future and yet to be fulfilled. Whenever you have what’s called a “type” or topos in the Old Testament, it’s always pointing to something that’s fulfilled in the New Testament, but a really important thing to remember is the New Testament will clarify and make it clear that it is indeed a “type” or a picture. Otherwise, we become the authorities and we find “types” and prophecies that aren’t really there, and we read into the Scriptures something God never intended there to be. A lot of times preachers will do this with narrative passages from the Old Testament and say, “Well, this symbolizes Jesus,” or “That symbolizes the Holy Spirit,” or “This symbolizes the church,” and you kind of go, “How do I know that’s true?” The answer is, the Bible says it is. If the Bible doesn’t say that, we can kind of like, “Eh, it’s interesting and kind of cool, and isn’t that nice,” but you can’t speak with authority. So, keep that in mind.

I’ve, several times, taught what’s called hermeneutic classes at the Bible college, and that is the study of interpreting Scripture—the art and science of biblical interpretation. That’s one of the important principles. When is a “type” a “type?” When the New Testament says it’s a “type.” If it doesn’t say it’s a “type,” then you become the authority and willy-nilly you can just read whatever you want into the Old Testament or into the Bible and make up things out of your own mind or imagination. I’ve heard entire sermons that were pretty exciting, but the problem is that there’s no real authority behind it because the Bible doesn’t say so.

Psalm 41:9 is the reference there in verse 18, and the writer, John the apostle, points out that this indeed was a reference or a “type” of Judas Iscariot. He says, “Now I tell you before it…come to pass,” verse 19, “that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am.” This entire passage indicates very clearly the sovereignty and the deity of Jesus Christ. Jesus knew who would betray Him. He knew that it was prophesied in the Old Testament, and He’s in control of the whole situation. He says, “You will know that I Am,” a reference to Him being Jehovah God. Judas, though he was prophesied through Ahithophel’s picture, he is actually a free moral agent and chooses to resist the Lord, rebel against Him, deny, and betray Him.

In verse 21, “When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit,” so now we have the humanity of Jesus Christ. You go through the gospels and you see evidence of His deity and His humanity. This is His human spirit, and it’s because He’s coming closer to the cross. As I pointed out, the first part of the gospel of John, the first 12 chapters, you have three years of ministry. In John 13-17, you have just a couple hours of Jesus teaching in light of the cross. As a matter of fact, He’s in the upper room, leaves the upper room in a short time, goes to the Garden of Gethsemane this very night, He’s arrested, tried, and the next day He will be crucified. Here, Jesus, in light of the cross in verse 21, in light of Judas’ betrayal, is troubled in spirit. It kind of ties in with this episode when He would go to the Garden of Gethsemane, which was still future at this time. “…and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.”

Jesus drops a bombshell on His disciples. There’s only 12 dudes there, and He says, “One of you is going to betray Me.” Now, we’re going to see from the passage that they were all kind of just…didn’t have a clue as to who it was, except for one of them, Judas. He knew that Jesus knew, but the other disciples—and this is powerful—did not know. They spent three years with this guy. They went out on ministry with this guy. They saw him pray for people. Yes, I believe when they were sent out and commissioned that Judas even prayed and people were healed. Judas saw miracles. Judas saw people transformed. Judas saw the miracles. Judas was on the boat when Jesus stood up and calmed the wind and the raging sea and said, “Peace, be still,” and came walking on the water, raised Lazarus from the dead—you name it, Judas saw it. It just goes to show you how hard and wicked this man’s heart was. Jesus said, “It would have been better for him never have to been born.” It’s pretty sad when Jesus says about you, “It would be better that you were never born,” because he would be the one who would betray Him. As I pointed out as well, it’s a mystery we can’t understand, Judas had free will. But Judas could have believed. Judas could have repented, even up to this very last moment, but chose to resist God, and many people will do the same thing today in our world. They will see the miracles, see the evidence, yet won’t believe. They refuse to believe.

Jesus says, “…one of you shall betray me.” Now the questions begin to fly from verses 22-26. “Then the disciples looked one on another,” I wish I could’ve seen a picture. This is like they’re looking at each other like, “It’s not me. I don’t know who this is.” I just wish I could see their response. No wonder, in chapter 14, He says, “Let not your heart be troubled,” but that’s after Judas has gone out of the room. They’re all like, “It’s not me!” “I’m not doing anything wrong.” “Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake.” What John doesn’t record, Matthew or Mark records, that they all began to ask, “Lord, is it I?” “Lord, is it me?” They didn’t know when someone who would betray Him, they didn’t know who would betray Him, so they thought, Who knows? Maybe it will be me, and they didn’t know their own hearts, “Lord, is it I?”

Verse 23, “Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom,” or breast, “one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.” Now, if you’ve studied the gospel of John, you know who that is, right? It’s John, the writer of the gospel. How humorous that he writes his own gospel, refers to himself and says, “…the one whom Jesus loved,” right after He said, “One of you is going to betray Me.” “Not me, I’m the one He loves.” John includes himself there as the one “…whom Jesus loved.”

It’s interesting that John got the Revelation, we call it the apocalypse, and he’s called the one whom Jesus loved. In the Old Testament, in the book of Daniel, which is one of the great prophetic books of the Old Testament, he’s called “beloved,” so these two guys who got so much vision of the future were beloved of the Lord. But you can put your name in there as well. As a child of God, you’re one whom Jesus loves.

Jesus says, “…one of you shall betray me,” but “…one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved,” was leaning on His bosom. “Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake. 25 He,” that is, John, “then lying on Jesus’ breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it? 26 Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.” Jesus and the disciples, I mentioned last Wednesday night, are lying on the dinner bed. Remember that? It’s kind of a horseshoe-shaped table and on the outer side of it there’s a bed. It’s very low to the ground. You would lie on your left side, have your right hand open, and reach over with your right hand. You probably had to cock your head back a little bit, and just dropped it in. I talked about what a cool invention that would be today if someone would make the dinner bed, you know, you just eat and sleep. I love that.

Here’s the setup. John was on the right-hand side of Jesus, which was the place of honor. Jesus is lying on His left side. John is in front of Him, so if Jesus is behind him, then John could actually just roll back and his head would land right on His chest, inches away. Again, I see a little humor here. Peter says, “Pssst. John, you’re right next to Him. Ask Him who it is!” The rest of the guys at the table can’t quite hear what’s going on, “What’s happening? What’s up?” John just flips over BOOM! his head is like, “Oh, talk about invading my space here, John boy.” He’s like inches away, “Who is it, Lord?” Hopefully he brushed his teeth that day. That’s why the Bible makes it clear that he lay on His breast or on His bosom. “Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop.”

Sop was a bowl on the table which would be juices from fruit, and they would take bread and dip it. It’s kind of like our equivalent of chips and salsa, is what it would be like. They would take the bread, dip it, but the host would actually dip the bread in sop and hand it to someone as a badge of respect and honor. Isn’t it interesting that Jesus would identify the betrayer by dipping the bread in sop and handing it to Judas Iscariot. Some feel that he was appealing to Judas up to this very last moment that he should not betray Him. Again, the whole mystery of the sovereignty because it’s been prophesied He must be betrayed, He must go to the cross, He must die; yet Judas is a free moral agent and a player in this whole episode, but God is the One ultimately, sovereignly pulling the strings and orchestrating His purpose and His divine plan.

Jesus knew who it was, yet the others did not know. The point is that Judas was a hypocrite. The word “hypocrite” we get from the word hypokrites. It comes from the Greek theatre where the actors on the Greek stage wore masks (not like the ones we’re wearing right now). They wore full face masks with different facial expressions to play a part. One actor could actually wear three or four different masks playing a role, so the actors were actually referred to as hypokrites because they wore masks, and it’s come down to us as hypocrites. A hypocrite is one who play acts or role acts, isn’t real. It’s tied in with the idea of that they aren’t of integrity, that they’re practicing duplicity—what you see is not real. It’s phony, it’s acting. But you can see how good of an actor Judas was that all those disciples who spent all those years with him…and he was the one holding the bag, the treasury. I mean, if they’d known it was Judas, you’d think they would have said, “You carry the money?” I don’t think so. He was pilfering out of the money, but indeed he was a hypocrite. It reminds me of the fact that only God knows a person’s heart, and we can’t really judge by outward appearance. Only God really knows whether a person is a true believer or genuine child of God.

When they asked Jesus who it was, I don’t think the others really heard or understood what was going on there at the dinner table with John and Jesus. Jesus made it clear, “I’m going to dip the sop, and whoever I give it, that’s the one who will betray Me.” We see love’s demonstration of reaching out to Judas.

Verse 27, now we have the command of Jesus to Judas to go out and to betray Him. “And after the sop, satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.” When it says that satan entered into him, back in verse 2 of the same chapter, it says that satan put it in Judas’ heart to betray Him. You don’t have to read into that statement the idea that Judas became demon possessed, I suppose it’s possible, but more probable that Judas just came under the influence of satan that maybe he didn’t fully become possessed of a demon—which happens in Bible days, it happens even in our day, it still happens. It’s a reference, I think, more that satan was the one who was leading him, suggesting this to him, and guiding him in his atrocious deed of denying the Lord.

A lot of Bible scholars have tried to attribute to Judas good motives. They’ve theorized, it’s a big concocted theory, that Judas really believed Jesus was the Messiah but heard Jesus talking about the cross, the crucifixion, “My Kingdom is not of this world,” and thought, Well, I’m going to force the issue so that Jesus will have to overthrow the Romans and set up His Kingdom, so I’m going to deny Him, and that’s why he ran out and threw the money down and said, “I’ve betrayed innocent blood,” and went and hung himself in grief. Again, it’s just a theory that doesn’t really pan out with all the Scriptures that indicate that Judas was not a true child of God, he wasn’t a real believer, he wasn’t ever a real disciple, that he was following Jesus just for the glamour, the glory, the fame, the money, and the power. He thought, He’s the Messiah, and I’ll sit on the throne with Him, and I’ll be in power with Him, and when he saw Jesus was just going to go to the cross he thought, I’m going to bail out and get some money while I’m doing it. He did have remorse, but it wasn’t genuine repentance, that’s why he went out and took his own life. He didn’t truly repent, his heart was evil, and he was actually a son of perdition. It’s a sad, sad story.

It’s interesting that he was with the disciples, and they never understood that he was the betrayer. When Jesus said, “…one of you shall betray me,” they didn’t all immediately turn and look at Judas and say, “I wondered why you were always wearing black and your sunglasses and you look so weird and your eyes are kind of close together, so you’re the man.” They didn’t even do that. How quick we are to judge somebody by their appearance when God alone knows that person’s heart.

By the way, just as a footnote, I don’t believe that a born again Christian, and only people who are born again are Christians, I say that because it drives home the point that you must be born again. I don’t believe a born again believer can be demon possessed. I think he can be tempted. I think he can be oppressed, but he cannot be possessed. If you’re a child of God, the Spirit of God lives inside of you and satan certainly isn’t going to have access to take over your life, “…because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”

We see here the sovereignty of Jesus saying, “Go and do what you’re going to do, quickly.” This is actually a command. It’s imperative. Jesus is actually commanding Judas to go and do what you must do. In verse 28 it says, “Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him.” They had no idea what Jesus was telling Judas to go do. “For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor,” he’s got to go buy some supplies or give money to the poor. “He then having received the sop went immediately out,” and that famous statement John makes at the end of verse 30, “and it was night.” Clearly, it was physically night; but spiritually, it was the dark night of the soul for Judas and the dark night when Jesus would actually be apprehended by the kiss of Judas in the Garden of Gethsemane.

The contrast is intentional in John’s gospel. He’s contrasting the hypocrisy and the duplicity of Judas and the fact that no one knew, with verses 31-35, the reality of a true child of God that has the love of God in their heart, so Judas is the ultimate apostate. The word “apostasy” comes from the word in English which means to fall away. That’s what the word means—to apostatize means to fall away. I believe, and this is an important distinction, that an apostate is someone who never was truly converted. Now, there’s all kinds of implications to what I’m saying, and I don’t expect you to comprehend all of them, and I can’t get on a rabbit trail, but when you read 2 Peter and you read about the pig that’s been washed and released and goes back to its wallowing in the mire, it was a pig. It was washed, but it never became a sheep. It went back to the mud. The dog that vomits goes back to its vomit. It was never a sheep. It was never a child of God.

The prodigal son, I believe, pictures a Christian that falls away from the Father but comes to their senses, repents, comes back to the Father, and is forgiven as 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” What happens is a lot of times people go, “Well, they went to church,” and “they read their Bible,” and “they sang in the choir,” maybe they even led worship. Maybe they were a popular Christian recording artist or even a preacher and now say they don’t believe in Jesus anymore. Now they don’t believe the Bible is the Word of God anymore and have renounced everything they once believed. They were never really born again. They were never regenerated. They were never saved. You say, “Well, how do you do that?” Well, I don’t really know in an individual case because only God knows the heart, but from a biblical perspective, these are individuals who apostatize; and I believe that an apostate is someone who turns away from the faith.

If you read the book of Jude, which is entirely written about the subject of apostasy, it says, “These…having not the Spirit.” They are sensual, so they’re not regenerated. They have not the Holy Spirit. They’re sensual. If you want to take the time to go through my series on our website through the book of Jude, the entire book is about the apostates—a warning, like clouds without water, and wells without water, and they promise but they don’t deliver. The whole description…that’s why Jude says to the believers he’s writing to, “But you, keep yourselves in the love of God. Pray in the Holy Spirit. Build yourself up on your most holy faith. Look for the coming again of Jesus Christ. Don’t be like these apostates.” Just for homework, make a note of that and read the book of Jude. You’ll get an illustration of what Judas was. He was a classic apostate, even among the twelve disciples. I think about that Jesus chose twelve, and out of the twelve, one of them was a tare—not really truly wheat, the child of God.

In verses 31-35, we have the contrast of Jesus giving us the mark of a true disciple. “Therefore, when he was gone out,” that is, Judas left the upper room, “Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him.” He’s talking about the cross, and again, the clear teaching in the New Testament that the cross was actually the glory that Jesus was headed toward—that through the cross Jesus Christ would be glorified and glorify His Father. He uses the Messianic title in verse 31, “Son of man,” and says, “God is glorified in him,” so the glory in the cross.

Verse 32, “If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway,” immediately, “glorify him,” again, still speaking of the approaching cross and the purposes of God. He says, “Little children,” He uses this endearing term because Judas is no longer in the group. He doesn’t use this term until Judas leaves the room. He says, “Little children, yet a little while I am with you,” literally hours, “Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you.” Again, this is why in a few verses (John 14), “Let not your heart be troubled,” because one of you will betray Me, Peter will deny Me, and I’m leaving you. Wow! Great night! It’s been nice having dinner with you, Jesus. I mean, they were just shattered; but He goes, “Don’t be troubled. I’m going to My Father’s house. I’m going to prepare a place,” and “Good news, I’ll be back, and I’m going to take you home to My Father’s house.” He says to them, “Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me,” and shall not find Me, “and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you.” He’s going back to the Father.

Here it is, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” This is one of the amazing statements Jesus makes; and, by the way, as I said, He has now started His discourse. He’s now started teaching. Judas has left, just His eleven disciples, calls them “Little children,” an endearing term, and says, “I’m going to give you a new commandment.

Now, what is the word “new” referred to? It doesn’t refer to new in chronology or order because if you go all the way back into the Old Testament book of Leviticus 19:18, God said, “…love thy neighbour as thyself,” so what’s new about Jesus saying, “I give you this new commandment that you love one another?” It’s new in that it’s a new dimension, a new depth. There’a a new facet to it. It’s new in that it’s freshened up and deeper and there’s new aspects. I’m going to give you the newness to this new commandment. It’s not new in order or time because God had already said, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” but it’s new in dimension. It’s new in the sphere of love. It’s new in the example of love.

Let me give you the reasons why it is new in that sense. In the book of Leviticus 19:18, which I just quoted, He says to the Jews, “…love thy neighbour as thyself.” Do you know what the Jews believed? They believed that their neighbor were only other Jews. They didn’t believe their neighbor were Gentiles, so He’s actually expanding that. That’s why He calls it “new.” That’s why the Jews were so prejudiced towards the Gentiles. They actually had a radical concept that God only created Gentiles to be fuel for the fires of hell. Can you imagine that? “Hi, nice to meet you. God made you to be fuel.” “I appreciate that. That really blesses me.” If you’ve ever been in areas where there are Hasidic Jews, even today, you say, “Hi,” and you’re a Gentile, they won’t even acknowledge you. They’ll just walk right by you and won’t even look at you. They don’t want to talk to you. They don’t want to touch you. They hated Gentiles. You talk about racial prejudice—the Jews hated Gentiles and the Gentiles hated the Jews. Jesus is saying, “Look, I’m giving you a brand new, a new kind of commandment. You need to love beyond your own Jewish people. You go beyond their race, ethnicity. You have a love that is universal, even for the Gentile world, not for just Jews only.”

I want to give you the reasons why it’s new in its object because in Galatians 3:28 the Bible tells us that we should love one another as believers in the body of Christ—so not only Jews, but Gentiles, and other believers as Christians in the body of Christ. When Jesus says to His disciples, “Love one another,” obviously it’s love your fellow believers and brothers and sisters in Christ. If there’s anyone we should love as Christians, it should be other Christians, duh; yet Christians fight and bicker and argue and divide. What kind of a witness is that to the world? Someone said, “To dwell above with the saints in love, that will be glory. But to live below with some saints I know, brother, that’s another story.” You see churches, when you’re driving into town, “First Church of something, Second Church, Third Church, Last Church,” and then you go out, “The Only Church.” It’s just split, split, split, split, split, and divide, Christians fighting. We are to love one another, Galatians 3:28.

Also, we’re to have a love for the world of unbelievers. We’re to have a love for non-Christians. We are not just to love the brethren, we’re to have a special love for them, but we’re to actually love unbelievers. I know that’s difficult. We have a tendency to look down upon non-Christians, but we’re to love them as well. Remember when Jesus told the parable of the Good Samaritan? A Samaritan was a neighbor to the man in need, and the lesson of the story was anyone in need is my neighbor. We need to help them.

It’s also to be a love in its object to our enemies. This is a new love in that we have a new object—one another in the body of Christ, unbelievers, even the world around us, and even our enemies. Jesus said in Matthew 5, “Love your enemies.” If you have an enemy on the job or in the neighborhood or maybe you’re married to your enemy…I’ve had couples come in for counseling, “I just don’t love them anymore. I just can’t love them.” I say, “Well, at least the Bible says, ‘Love your enemies’, you know, you’ve got to love one another,” which indicates something, make a note of this and then I’ll move on, love is not an emotion. It has emotions that follow like a caboose, but love is an action. You choose to love somebody. You choose to love somebody. What is loving somebody? Treating them the way God treats you. Love seeks the highest good of the object loved. It’s a decision you make.

When I officiate a wedding, and I ask the couple, “Do you promise to love them in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, til death do you part,” that’s not feeling, that’s not emotion, that’s a commitment! You’re making a commitment—til death do you part. That doesn’t mean you wake up with a song in your heart every morning, (Singing) “I love you!” The humming birds are singing outside the window. The sun is glistening off the eggs, and you dance around as you eat breakfast together every morning. It doesn’t always happen like that, right? But you stay committed to one another in a marriage because love is not a passing emotion, it’s a continual devotion. So, we have a new object.

Secondly, we have a new example. Look at the phrase in verse 34, “…as I have loved you,” so, love one another, a new object; love as, “I have loved you,” a new example. Jesus is always our example. We have love’s measure. How did Jesus love them? Well, for love is treating others the way God treats us, write this down, He loved them and us unconditionally. Romans 5:8, “But God commendeth,” demonstrated, “his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” In verse 26, Jesus even washed Judas’ feet and gave Judas the sop. He was still showing him love. Secondly, not only unconditionally, but we should love sacrificially because that’s what Jesus did. In John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son.” In 1 John 3:16, this is how we know the love of God, that He gave His Son to be the sacrifice for our sins.

Thirdly, we should love as Jesus loved, practically. Remember Jesus washed their feet back in verses 4-5, and in Galatians 5:13, Paul says, “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.” This comes into the home, to your workplace, the church, your neighborhood, your city, wherever you go, love others.

Lastly, love them forgivingly. How do we love like Jesus loved? Forgivingly. Write down Ephesians 4:32, “And be ye kind…tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Now, that’s not a verse that’s in context referring to marriage, but man is that a powerful marriage verse: Be kind, be tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you. I don’t understand how two Christians in a marriage can’t forgive one another. God has forgiven you, how can you not forgive them? Remember when Peter said, “Lord, how many times shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him?” And then he threw out a number! He asks Jesus a question and then gives the answers. Peter, you need help. “Seven times?” And, he thought that he was really something, “Seven times, that’s pretty cool.” Jesus said, “No, Peter, seventy times seven.” Peter probably went, “Aye, yai yai yai! Four hundred and ninety times? Lord, that’s just too much. It ain’t gonna happen.” How many times we reach the quota, “You know what? That’s the last time! I’m not forgiving you ever again!” Be careful. You burn that bridge, you may have to go over it someday. Do you know how many times God forgives us? Over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. How many times, “Lord? It’s me again. I’m sorry. Please forgive me.” And He’s faithful, He’s just, He forgives us of our sins and He cleanses us from all unrighteousness. So, then, how can you not forgive those that have sinned against you? A beautiful verse for a marriage relationship.

Thirdly, and lastly, I want to point out verse 35, Love’s new affect. In that verse we actually have, first of all, we have a new object, one another; secondly, we have a new example, “as I have love you;” and thirdly, you have a new affect, verse 35, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples.” Isn’t that a beautiful picture? Jesus said, “That’s the birthmark of the believer.”

The great apologist, Frances Schaeffer, said, “The final apologetic is love in the body of Christ.” How are we going to win the world to Christ is we’re fighting in the body of Christ? “Hey, come to church. We’re fighting. Come fight with us.” “No, I have plenty of fighting at home, I don’t need to go to church to fight with other people.” I love that concept that this is the ultimate and final apologetic—Christians loving one another. In the early church, did not the world look at the Christians and say, “Look how they love one another. Look at them. Look how they love one another. All different social status and all different color, all different backgrounds, all different nationalities, and look how they love one another.” The world is watching us. We’re the people of God. We’re the family of God. We have one Father in heaven, we have the same Spirit, we should love one another.

The apostle John, who wrote this gospel, was the last of the apostles to die, and he lived to be a real old man. He actually came from the island of Patmos back to Asia and went back to the area of Ephesus where he had pastored. Tradition tells us that when he was so old that he could hardly walk or talk, they would actually, on the Lord’s day, carry the apostle to church, prop him up, and listen with bated breath for words of wisdom from the great apostle. The apostle would simply say, “Little children, love one another,” a very short sermon, and then they would carry him home, bring him back the next Lord’s day, set him up in the church again. He would muster up the strength again to say, “Little children, love one another.” They would carry him home, and bring him back, and he would have the same message every Sunday, “Love one another.” Have you read his epistles about God is love? There’s a marvelous verse in 1 John 4:7, “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.”

So, “By this shall all men know that ye are,” true believers, “my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” This is supernatural. You’ve got to be born again of the Holy Spirit, have the Spirit of God indwelling you. You have to be filled with the Holy Spirit, Ephesians 5:18, “…be filled with the Spirit,” and then the fruit of the Holy Spirit, Galatians 5, is love. That’s the fruit of the Spirit. The evidence of the Spirit-filled life is love. It’s not jumping up and down. It’s not screaming and shouting. It’s not rolling in the aisles, which you’re cool if you want to do that, I mean, go ahead; but it’s not how high you jump when the Spirit touches you, it’s how straight you walk when you hit the ground. “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love,” and it’s a supernatural love that only comes through the power of the Holy Spirit. Let’s pray.

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About Pastor John Miller

Pastor John Miller is the Senior Pastor of Revival Christian Fellowship in Menifee, California. He began his pastoral ministry in 1973 by leading a Bible study of six people. God eventually grew that study into Calvary Chapel of San Bernardino, and after pastoring there for 39 years, Pastor John became the Senior Pastor of Revival in June of 2012. Learn more about Pastor John

Sermon Summary

Pastor John Miller continues our study through the gospel of John with a message through John 13:18-35 titled, “A New Kind Of Love.”

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Pastor John Miller

September 16, 2020