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“As I have loved you”—a radical standard for love

April 18, 2024

Daily Scripture

John 13:34-35, Romans 12:10, 1 Peter 1:22

John 13
34 “I give you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, so you also must love each other. 35 This is how everyone will know that you are my disciples, when you love each other.”

Romans 12
10 Love each other like the members of your family. Be the best at showing honor to each other.

1 Peter 1
22 As you set yourselves apart by your obedience to the truth so that you might have genuine affection for your fellow believers, love each other deeply and earnestly. 23 Do this because you have been given new birth—not from the type of seed that decays but from seed that doesn’t. This seed is God’s life-giving and enduring word.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

Jesus lived, and taught his followers to live, the Greek word “agape”—resilient, tenacious love. “God does not merely tolerate sinners: he loves them…. God for all his ability to punish and for all his own spotless purity does not regard sinners with aversion, but… with the costly love we see in the cross where Jesus died to save them.” * Egyptians, Canaanites, Greeks or Romans did not believe their gods loved them. Christ-followers believe Jesus showed that God loves you and that God’s love reshapes your life for the better.

  • The most distinctive response Jesus asked of his followers was to live in God’s love, which meant loving one another. Jesus modeled that love by telling his followers he didn’t call them servants but friends (cf. John 15:15). Saying his new commandment was to love each other “just as I have loved you” took “love” to a whole new level. What, in practical terms, does it mean for you to love others as Jesus loves you?

  • Peter urged his converts to “have genuine affection for your fellow believers, love each other deeply and earnestly.” Why? Because “you have been given new birth.” Isn’t it tragic that too many people in our society, even in churches, believe being “born again” means becoming angry, intolerant and judgmental of others? How did Jesus’ and Peter’s teaching and example highlight the great difference between “liking” and the kind of radical love Jesus offered and called us to?


Lord Jesus, keep teaching me how to love and show honor to others in ways that follow your model. Let my caring acts grow from seeing them as you do. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of Mikiala Tennie

Mikiala Tennie

Mikiala Tennie serves as the Student Discipleship Program Director with Resurrection Students. She has nearly 20 years of volunteer and professional ministry experience and loves walking alongside and encouraging others in their spiritual journey. Mikiala is blessed to be an adoptive aunt and godmother to many kiddos and lives with her 10-pound Yorkie, KiKi Okoye Tennie.

The other day I took an uber with someone to a family gathering. We had a lively conversation in the backseat about new music and our various likes and dislikes. As we were exiting, the driver asked, “Who are you to each other?” Overlapping at the same time, we both answered, “She’s my niece”/”She’s my aunt.” The driver nodded in understanding and then bid us goodbye.

This was a normal enough interaction, except that, she’s not really my niece and I’m not really her aunt. A few years ago, I came across the term, “fictive kin” and it was one of those moments where you discover a name for something you didn’t even know you needed a name for.

See, in my family we have aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins that are not technically related to us—maybe your family has something similar. These are the people who you’ve adopted into your family, or they’ve adopted you into theirs, and by sheer will and love—you’re family.

Currently, I have nearly 12 nieces and nephews—one of whom is biological! In our immediate family unit, we regularly adopted folks into our family. We loved big! I was blessed to have parents who taught us that love is a renewable resource that can be given away and shared unconditionally. I learned, through experience, what agape love truly looks like and how it feels.

In John 13:34, Jesus calls us to love each other as He loves us—that means with that same agape kind of love. In Romans 12:10, the apostle Paul instructs us to love like family. In 1 Peter 1:22 we’re told to love each other deeply and earnestly.

As far as I’m concerned, we’re expected to love big—just like my family taught me! We all understand the concept of fictive kin, we can identify the people in our lives who aren’t related but are family. But through Christ Jesus, those that we love like family should expand beyond our normal circles and impact others that we come in contact with.

What would it look like for you to expand your circles and love others with agape love? Don’t forget to love big today and every day!

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

* Leon Morris, article “Love” in Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1992, p. 494.