Margarida F. Sarli works at the Ministerial Association as researcher and assistant at Shepherdess International.

Number II 
Scripture reading
John 13:31-35

Suggested hymns
This love that makes us happy      Hymn No. 579
We plow the fields                          Hymn No. 561

The true disciples of Jesus will be filled with love for Him and for those for whom He died, that hearts will be melted by the words they speak and the prayers they offer.

Thought for the day

"In the contemplation of Christ, we linger on the shore of a love that is measureless. We endeavor to tell of this love, and language fails us. We consider His life on earth, His sacrifice for us, His work in heaven as our advocate, and the mansions He is preparing for those who love Him; and we can only exclaim, O the height and depth of the love of Christ!." Acts of the Apostles, p. 334.

Offering prelude

"In his first letter to the church at Corinth, Paul gave the believers instruction regarding the general principles underlying the support of God's work in the earth. Writing of his apostolic labors in their behalf, he inquired: "Who goeth a warfare anytime at his own charges? Who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? Or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock? Say I these things as a man? Or saith not the law the same also? For it is written in the Law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? Or saith He it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope." Acts of the Apostles, p. 335.

Children's story . . . Everyone needs our love

Object:. .......... Newspaper
Lesson ........... Jesus taught that we should love our enemies.


1. Jesus' clothes became very bright.
2. Moses saw the same thing long ago.
3. Jesus is the same as God.

As many of you know, what I have in my hand is the morning newspaper. Often your parents read it to see what is going on in our town and around the world. The newspaper is full of interesting things; the comics section and advertisements for supermarkets, for instance. But mostly we read the newspaper for the stories about what is going on in our world.

One kind of story that takes up space in the newspaper is about crimes or what we call "bad things." If you read the newspaper too much you could think that the world is very bad, but it is important to remember that newspapers speak about strange things and never the ordinary.

We would never see things like "Jimmy went to bed like a big boy last night." It is too ordinary.

Most of us do not know the people who commit crimes the newspaper tells about. This might make us think that all strangers may be people who do bad things. But this is not always true. Many strangers are good people like our parents and neighbors. In fact, Jesus taught us to love not only our friends and strangers, but even our enemies.

Sometimes if we love enemies and if we love strangers, they can become our friends. This is because everyone wants friends who can love. Maybe we can all love our enemies, and they will become our friends.



John 13:34

A. Introduction

1. Charles Templeton, in his book "Life Looks Up", said that the history of the world has been affected by two events which took place in two small rooms, separated by thousands of miles and thousands of years. One room is found in a drab flat over a dingy laundry in the Soho district of London. In this small room Karl Marx wrote "Das Kapital". It was a book which affected communism.

The other room was in Jerusalem. It was the place where Jesus ate the Passover with His disciples and spoke some meaningful words.

Just as Jesus was about to go to the cross, He bequeathed to His disciples a badge they would need to wear. It would be a sign that they were His disciples. "A new commandment I give to you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if you have love one to another" (John 13:34, 35).

2. Jesus called the exhortation to love "a new commandment." This may be labeled "the eleventh commandment."

Let us examine the various facets of this command.

B. The supreme place for love

1. ]esus gave a supreme place to love in His teachings.
Love was the central theme of the Master's teaching Matt. 5:43-47.

2. Jesus gave a supreme place to love in His life's relationships.
Love was the basis of a relationship with God and with other human beings Luke 10:27.

3. lesus gave a supreme place to love with His actions.
The Lord loved without recommendations, without restrictions, and without reciprocation.
He always sought the highest good of human beings.

4. lesus wants His followers to give love a supreme place. Love has the prominent place for a modern follower of Jesus 1 Cor.13:1-3.

C. The unique pattern for love

1 . If love is so important, how are we to love?

a. Jesus gave the pattern for love John 13:34.
b. The pattern of love is not to be determined by our standard but by the pattern of Jesus Christ.

2. Jesus loved inclusively.

a. He included the entire human race in His love. He loved outsiders and insiders; tax collectors, harlots, and other sinners were included in His love.
b. To be in God's family is to include all people within our love. No one can obey the eleventh commandment and exclude anyone from his love.

3. Jesus loved indescribably.

There is no way in the entire world to describe the lofty height of Jesus' love: "Greater love hath no man than this." Jesus went to the limit of self-giving love, even to the extent of giving His life on a cross.

4. Jesus loved selflessly.

Jesus never loved anyone for what it could do for Him. He loved thinking what it would do for others.

D. The distinct purpose of love

1. The purpose of love is to identify true disciples John 13:35.

Loving as Jesus loved distinguishes disciples from the world. The identity of a Christian is not the creed he or she recites or the church to which he or she belongs, but the love which the Christian has for Jesus and other people.

2. The purpose of love is to attract lost people.

a. The world will be attracted to those who love.
b. In a popular song we are reminded that what the world needs now is "love, sweet love." The world will be attracted to people who love each other.
c. Henry Drummond, in his classic sermon The Greatest Thing in the World, suggests that by putting a small piece of iron in the presence of an electrified body, that piece of iron for a time becomes electrified.

Putting a committed life in the presence of Christ would mean that Christ's nature could be seen in that life.

E. Conclusion

1. The world desperately needs love.
2. Christ enables people to love.
3. Will you not obey the eleventh commandment?
4. It will mean that you will love one another.

Margarida F. Sarli, editorial coordinator for this section.

Margarida F. Sarli works at the Ministerial Association as researcher and assistant at Shepherdess International.