By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
Here Jesus gives a surprising litmus test. A way to determine if one is truly a student of this Teacher.
It catches us off guard because the usual measure of a student’s attention to the teacher is knowledge. How much of what the teacher taught is remembered? And how did the student perform on the test?
Shouldn’t Jesus have said we know we are his students because we believe and teach exactly what He taught? This may be true, but it isn’t what Jesus singled out to distinguish His followers.
That’s because the truth of what Jesus taught is deeper than the words and concepts themselves. In fact, didn’t He say that He was truth?
There the Teacher stands. And what He teaches is the wonderful truth of God, how to come to God and live with God. But above and beyond the teaching is the Teacher Himself.
Why is He here? Why is He saying what He is saying, doing what we see Him doing? Why did He die?
Love is who He is, who God is. Love is the real thing, the ultimate reality that never fails. Neither in this life or the next!
Love is what happens in the heart of every student who receives this Teacher. Not just getting the teaching, but getting Him. Allowing God’s love in Jesus to transform the heart!
This love exhibited to one another is the only advertisement the world will trust. This is the Teacher’s plan to bring more students to His University.
Where the curriculum is spelled out in one word – Jesus! And all the courses lead to the development of one eternal ability – to live in love as He does.