Acts 15:22-31 / Jn 15:12-17
By the time of Jesus’ coming, the rule book for practicing Jews was exceedingly long and complicated, so much so that most ordinary folk just gave up trying to figure it all out. The scribes and pharisees battled endlessly about fine points of the law, and the whole enterprise moved further and further from real life and deeper into irrelevance.
Unlike the scribes, Jesus knew that the law should be a liberator, freeing people from what is hurtful and what is void of purpose, and focusing their efforts on what really counts. Jesus saw that that wasn’t happening, so he cut through the life-threatening tangle that the lawyers had made. He declared that there is really only one commandment, “Love one another as I have loved you.”
And how exactly did he love us? Wholeheartedly, absolutely, and unconditionally! His love had no limits, not even death. That’s the norm he’s given us to measure up to. We’ll fail miserably if we try to do it on our own, but we’ll have a chance of succeeding if we let his love fill us and do its work within us.
The Spirit of Jesus is powerful and can overcome anything. Let his Spirit do his work in you.