ODJ: Stand-Out Love

September 30, 2017 

READ: John 13:31-38 

Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples (v.35).

In 1988, François Pasquier returned to France after spending time away from his homeland. Hoping to reconnect with his friends, he invited them to a picnic in a public park. Pasquier asked everyone to wear white so that they could identify one another. The dinner was a success, and the guests decided to reconvene the following year with more friends. Diner en Blanc has now grown to an annual dinner party of some 10,000 attendees. People still dress in white so they will stand out from those not attending the dinner.

Jesus also wanted His disciples to be noticeably different from the people around them—but because of their care for each other. Shortly before His crucifixion, He told them, “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples” (John 13:35). The kind of love Jesus was describing wasn’t merely brotherly love, it was something more—steady, unconditional, agape (the highest form of) love.

This kind of love naturally stands out from the world because it doesn’t make sense. It embraces people regardless of their friendliness or merit and doesn’t let go. Ever. It continually thinks well of people and lets that kind regard morph into words and actions that benefit them. This is the love Jesus showed to His disciples. He said, “Just as I have loved you, you should love each other” (v.34).

Believers today can be sure that Jesus loves us with a persistent, wonderful affection. If we unleash that kind of love on our Christian brothers and sisters (as well as those who don’t know Jesus!), we’ll raise eyebrows in a world filled with indifference and animosity. Hopefully, those who notice will hear God’s call to join His family and experience true love.

—Jennifer Schuldt

365-day-plan: Luke 24:13-43

Read John 14:9-12 and consider how God’s love can be fully expressed through us. 
How might your life change if you decided to express agape love on a more consistent basis? How has God’s love caused you to see others differently?