John 13:31-38

A couple more sermon outlines from John (our sermon recordings did not work). This passage comes on the heels of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples, and then the betrayer leaving their midst.

There are at least four marks of Christian love:

  1. It is relatively new (31-34)- now that Judas has gone out, Jesus’ death is set in quick order. Jesus can command a new love now because the gospel is about to be fulfilled! Love has never been clearer than in the earthly life of Jesus; that is how this is a new command
  2. It must imitate Christ (34)- Jesus loved his disciples with a self-sacrificial, gospel-centered, commitment-filled love, a love that is a love for people who do not deserve it. He showed them this love from day one until the day he died on the cross, and then until he was taken up to heaven. That is how he loved; Christians must also love one another that way.
  3. It must be visible (35)- “by this all men will know you are my disciples” means people will see Christians loving each other. It is not just a warm feeling we have toward each other; it is expressed visibly.
  4. It proves your faith (35-38)- Peter wanted to keep following Jesus; he wanted to show he was a committed disciple. He said he would lay down his life for Jesus! But that profession of faith is not how Jesus said we are to show we are his disciples; it is by our love for each other that we show it.

One word on “all men will know” that we are Jesus’ disciples by our love: that is a direct call to world missions. “All men” will never know we love each other if we do not take that gospel love out there.

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One response to “John 13:31-38

  1. The context of this passage, with Jesus washing the disciples feet, gives it so much power. And I appreciate your thought on “all men” being a call to world missions. I like this phrase: “‘All men’ will never know we love each other if we do not take that gospel love out there.” I would say it works in reverse as well: When we go to the nations, all men will never know the gospel if we do not love one another. I’m not sure if you’ve read Schaeffer’s “The Mark of a Christian,” but I always think of it when I read those verses – it’s a great little book.

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