John of the Gospel, the young follower whom Jesus loved, also who was in the spirit on the Lord’s Day while in exile on the Isle of Patmos. Notice this about him.
“There is a church tradition, which says, that when John was evidently an old man in Ephesus, he had to be carried to the church in the arms of his disciples. At these meetings, he was accustomed to say no more than, "Little children, love one another!" After a time, the disciples wearied at always hearing the same words, asked, "Master, why do you always say this?" "It is the Lord's command," was his reply. "And if this alone be done, it is enough!" William Stuart McBirnie Ph.D.
Dr. McBirnie’s inclusion of this story is probably on target as John is known in many circles as the Apostle of Love.
John’s emphasis of love toward the people of faith permeated his writings and his life from what we know of it. He was award of the great gift of love he received from Jesus Christ and vigorously passed it on!
His statement, Little children, love one another! Is simply repeating the teaching he heard from the lips of the Savior. His further affirmation,
“It is the Lord’s command. And if this alone be done, it is enough!”
Is John teaching us that among the professing true Christ love for one another, is essential in solving inter assembly problems? After 55 years of being in local fellowships of believers called churches, I really think John was onto the great reconciling power of love that flows from the bleeding heart of Jesus Christ.
When God’s people will exchange, unforgiveness, hatred, bitterness and plain simple pettiness, for Christ love, things will change quickly. I cannot think of one church problem in the many churches I have tried to council, including the ones I have pastored that could not have had a much more peaceable outcome if the Love of Christ had been flowing back and forth from the sanctified hearts of each side. This covers marital situations and the plethora of church battles often fought on the front pages of religious and secular news media. Give John’s words serious consideration.
Little Children, love one another.
Copyright © 2017 Larry Lilly
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