Thursday, October 11, 2012
1 John 2
We are in Luzinga today – medical clinic and resource distribution
There is only one place in the Gospels where Jesus uses the phrase “I give you a new commandment.” He gives a new commandment just once and that passage is John 13:34-35. Jesus says to his followers at the Last Supper just after the foot washing: “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, that you have love for one another.” Jesus came to establish a radical kingdom community. This would be a community that was to transcend all barriers of economy, race, age, gender, status or whatever. It would be a Community that would love one another and by this love be a shining beacon of hope to a loveless and lost world.
In 1 John 2 John writes that if we say we love God but hate our brother or sister – we don’t get it, clearly we don’t get it. In 1 John 2:15 and following it is important to notice what constitutes “love of the world”. He writes: “the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, and the pride in riches does not come from the Father . . .” This aspect of the world may be better called “worldliness.” In the Gospel of John, Jesus tells his followers to be “in” the world but not “of” the world. I think this is the same point that is made here – we are not to hate the people of the world just to avoid the worldliness. The idols of our age – money, sex, power, self – are controlling and the driving force behind worldliness.