‘My command is this: love each other as I have loved you.’ Let those words sink into you. Where do they take you?
1 John 2:1-14
It is good that verses 1 and 2 are there, because the rest of this passage could be rather depressing. Verse 2-14 area meditation on John 15:12, including warnings about unreality and the awfulness of lack of love. Love is: the key indicator that we know Jesus; the key feature of the Christ-likeness we must display; the key component of Jesus’ teaching; and the key sign of the birth of the age to come and shining of the Light. If love is not present, then darkness is reigning–whatever might seem to be the case.
In verses 12-14 John displays the kind of love he means: a love that isn’t a vague warm emotion, but a discriminating and knowing commitment to the good of the other. John doesn’t just think about his readers from a distance, but he writes to them, knowing them intimately and wanting to give them a gift appropriate to their state and their needs: to the young, something that builds on their joyful awareness of forgiveness and their intimacy with God as Father; to the older people, something that encourages them in their knowledge of God; to those in their prime, something that directs their strength, ambition and sense of purpose. This is love in action!
But how good it is that the passage begins with verses 1 and 2. Love is growing in us, but who can claim that God’s love is ‘made complete’ in them. It might be so for John the apostle, after a lifetime of waling in the light, but for the rest of us…we constantly need to be coming back to Jesus Christ, the Righteous One for forgiveness
Do just that, claim verse 1 and 2 for yourself, as deeply as you need, and ask for the growth of this Christ-like love in you today.