Pause

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

Matthew 22:37-39 (NIV)

You are called to love your neighbor. Jesus said it was equal to the greatest commandment.

Who is your neighbor? What is your responsibility to your neighbor?

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Listen

You didn’t choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you could go and produce fruit and so that your fruit could last. As a result, whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give you. I give you these commandments so that you can love each other.

John 15:16-17

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Think

There’s a beautiful scene two chapters before that precedes this conversation with Jesus. In the scene Jesus gets on his hands and knees, takes his clothing and a pail of water, and washes his disciples feet. The significance of this is easily lost on us. This would be like the President of the USA coming to mow your lawn!

When Jesus is finished, he stands and tells the disciples something surprising. You would expect him to say, “Now that I have washed your feet, you are to wash my feet.” But he doesn’t. He says, “Now that I have washed your feet, wash one another’s feet.”

Jesus has authorized a recipient for the gratitude that you owe him. And that is your neighbor. The life that you and I owe Jesus for his sacrifice is to be spent serving our neighbor.

Jeremy Sims

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Pray

Jesus, I find it easy to serve you and to wash your feet. What’s difficult is washing the feet of others. Please give me the patience and courage to serve my neighbor the way that you have served. Amen.

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Go

Go and love.

Go and value the other image bearers of God around you.

Believe the best in your neighbor.

Jeremy Sims

Jeremy Sims is a husband, father, teacher, pastor, musician, San Francisco Giants nut, and shrimp and grits aficionado. He and his wife Tiffanni have been married for over 17 years and have three beautiful children named Addyson, Carsyn, and Brayden. They have a Golden Retriever named Fortinbras, named after a Golden Retriever from their favorite family book A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle.

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