May 13, 2001

John 13:31-35

When [Judas] had left, Jesus said, "Now the Son of Man is seen for who he is, and God seen for who he is in him. The moment God is seen in him, God's glory will be on display. In gloryifying him, he himself is glorified--glory all around!

"Children, I am with you for only a short time longer. You are going to look high and low for me. But just as I told the Jews, I'm telling you: 'Where I go, you are not able to come.'

"Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples--when they see the love you have for each other."

<The Message >


1. There always seem to be limits to every great saying. Look at Luke 9:46-50. Who is included in the "one another" category. Folks of the same teaching? Folks of the same ministry?

[Luke 9:46] An argument arose among them as to which one of them was the greatest. But Jesus, aware of their inner thoughts, took a little child and put it by his side, and said to them, "Whoever welcomes this child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me; for the least among all of you is the greatest."

John answered, "Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us." But Jesus said to him, "Do not stop him; for whoever is not against you is for you." [NRSV]

2. This issue is alive and well within denominations as we argue with one another and beat one another up over which of us is the greatest. This issue is alive and well between denominations and faiths.

Have you felt betrayed by your own denomination? Have you feel more akin to a similar-hearted group in another denomination or faith?

What are your boundaries of spiritual kinship?

3. This is part of the strength of the Wesleyan cell-group approach. There is to be great love expansively expended, expressed and extended between at least a couple of folks. Hopefully this will be noticeably different than the usual relationship in the world (even standard families). A part of the hope is that as we grow deeper in love with a few we will be able to see how to grow deeper in love with many.

Homepage | Sermon Prep