Love one another
When Jesus instituted this meal in remembrance of himself, he shared it with his disciples. He began by telling them how important it was that they should love one another and he washed their feet to show that he was among them as somebody who had come to serve. Paul, who has just written to the Romans about the “one body” of Christian believers, now stresses the importance of living the new life that began at baptism.
When people come to decide to follow Jesus and to believe in the same God as he did, they had to know that they would tread a path which was perhaps not so easy as they first thought, hoping to have all their problems solved. Coming to God demands a fierce struggle to overcome. When wanting to come to worship the Only One True God, it demands a development of a spiritual mind, so that our thinking is right and so that we can do away with all false teaching and false or wrong worship. Now he turns his attention to what our conduct should be towards one another, believers and unbelievers alike:
“Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honour. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another” (Romans 12:9-16).
Believers should live together as befits members of the family of God: that’s why Paul writes about “brotherly affection”. It is a great thing that Jesus is happy to call all new members of God’s family his brothers and sisters. We should be careful for the material and spiritual needs of all our fellow believers, and should live in a way which supports and builds up one another. If we have more than we personally need, we should contribute to the needs of others. For this reason it is usual to have a collection at those meetings when believers are together remembering Jesus, but not at public meetings when the gospel is being preached. For whilst Jesus said that
“It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35),
he also said
“You received without paying; give without pay” (Matthew 10:8).
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- Matthew 19:16-24 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Difficulty of Rich Entering the Kingdom
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- Mishmash of a legal code but importance of mitzvah or commandments
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- Matthew 10:5-10 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Jesus’ Orders: Territory, Theme, Trust