Have you ever thought about the make-up of Jesus’ band of disciples?
Out of twelve men in this carefully-compiled group, there were all kinds. There were fishermen and government employees (and even people who had actively hated the government). There were soft-spoken followers and loud, brash leaders.
Many of these men would have had no reason to even know one another — much less be friends — apart from Jesus. What they had most in common was Who they followed.
Jesus called together an assorted group of followers with different backgrounds and different views and different personalities, and He did it that way on purpose! He knew that their differences would bring God the most glory.
So it shouldn’t surprise us that Jesus said to them, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35)
One of the things that marks followers of Jesus is the way that they love each other — especially when it makes no sense.
This is still true, Church!
There is so much in the world that threatens to divide us right now. We are being forced to make decisions for ourselves and our families that could mark us as in one camp or another, that could set us against each other.
Will we send our kids to school or keep them home this year? (Ugh.)
Are we happily wearing a mask, or would we rather not? (Ouch.)
How will you vote this fall? (Eesh.)
We are not all the same. Far from it.
But division among God’s people is not the way of Jesus, friends.
Love that makes no sense. Love that assumes the best of others. Love that remembers that what we have most in common is Who we follow.
Maybe one of the gifts of 2020 is that we will get to show the world that we are His disciples by the way we love one another.