Thursday, July 23: Will you really lay down your life for me?
Read John 13:31-38
When he was gone, Jesus said, "Now the Son of Man is glorified and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will glorify the Son in himself, and will glorify him at once.
"My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come.
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
Simon Peter asked him, "Lord, where are you going?"
Jesus replied, "Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later."
Peter asked, "Lord, why can't I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you."
Then Jesus answered, "Will you really lay down your life for me? Very truly I tell you, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!"
In this passage, Jesus reminds the disciples that love will be their most powerful witness to others of their faith in him. It's as though Peter hasn't heard him, though, as he boldly announces his enduring allegiance. Can you imagine how Peter felt as Jesus saw right through his bravado and named his denial?
Lord, we crash and burn when we try to muster up love. Today, we will draw on your Spirit to love someone who especially needs it. Make us aware of who that is. Amen.