Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples. John 13:35
Interesting. Jesus wants the defining characteristic of his disciples to be love.
If you love only the people who love you, you will get no reward. Even the tax collectors do that. And if you are nice only to your friends, you are no better than other people. Even those who don’t know God are nice to their friends. Matthew 5:46-47
So, loving people who love us isn’t the kind of love Jesus is talking about. Convenient love isn’t what is going to mark us as followers of Christ.
It’s loving the unloving, the unlovely. It’s loving that requires risk and rejection and sacrifice that is a true mark of discipleship.
It’s doing things for the sole purpose of benefitting someone else…doing things for others when we don’t feel like it. It’s helping when it’s not convenient, giving when it hurts, devoting energy to others’ welfares instead of our own, making allowances for each others’ faults…love isn’t easy, is it? It’s risky…it’s radical…it’s dangerous…
And it’s beautiful. That’s why people will notice when you love them the way that Jesus does.