"By this all men will know that you are My disciples,
if you have love for one another."
John 13: 35
Let us examine the words of Christ and ponder His meaning.
Who are these "all men"? It seems quite certain Christ meant people other than Christians themselves, for these people would be observing Christians. So, "all men" are the people of the world.
Will know that you are my disciples:
The people of the world, everyone, can be utterly certain who Christ's disciples are by something. This thing is going to witness to the world and clearly identify Christians, making them stand out amongst all other people.
If you have love for one another:
Love is the identifying mark of the Christian. But not just love for anyone, specifically your love one for another (or other Christians.) Christ is certainly not saying that we do not have responsibility to love everyone, but that this identifying mark is specific. This love you have for other Christians is so incredible that it impresses non-Christians.
Think about that for a moment. The world expects married people to love each other or parents to love their children. This love Christ is commanding is not a "regular" kind of love; for the world wouldn't stop to take note of that kind of love. This is something different.
This is a love, so impressive, so miraculous that it makes all men realize who the followers of Christ are. It is a love that stands out, that makes people breathless with wonder.
Can Christians today really say that the world sees this kind of love among ourselves?
Presently, God's people are so torn apart, so fractured into theological opponents, the most the world sees from us is a type of amicable divorce. Our relationship to each other is not making headlines.
Christians today have given up any hope of unity, true theological and physical unity among ourselves because we believe truth to be an essential of faith--but not unity. Yet, that is not what Christ said. He did not say that the world will stand in awe and wonder over the truth of believers, but their love one for another.
I have heard over and over through the years that it would take a miracle from God for Protestants, Catholics and Orthodox to come together in unity. Because of course, we cannot ever compromise truth. That is true.
I actually agree. It will take a miracle from God. But perhaps that is why the world will stand back and be astounded. Perhaps God is planning such a miracle.
If the Muslim factions came together in unity and brotherhood, how would we look at it? Amazing and scary. They would take over the world.
What would happen if miraculously all those who love Christ would join in unity and the world could see the fruits of such a love? The world would see who Christ really is, and then indeed, He would draw all men to Himself.
Christ wasn't wishfully thinking when He told us His definition of His followers. He was commanding that His disciples love one another. In fact, His true disciples will be known by all men by their love for each other.
Are you ready to be that miracle? Are you prepared to obey this command? God is ready to give His true followers that miracle, are you ready to love?