I recently helped put on a men’s retreat for various Christian churches in our area. One of the speakers there told the true story of a Muslim man in Iran who was befriended by some Christians. They tried to convert him, but, as would be expected, he was kind of wary. Even though he saw that they treated him very kindly and lovingly, he thought it might be just a ploy. Perhaps he was just being played.
So he hung around them more. He watched them carefully. And he did, indeed become a Christian. But he said that it was how they treated each other that finally caused him to recognize the truth and submit to Christ. He saw that they truly loved one another.
That’s exactly what Jesus said. “People will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35)
One of my all-time favorite books is The Art of Being You by Bob & Joel Kilpatrick. In it, they said this:
[This] “is a remarkable fact – the potency of the gospel message rests in the vibrancy of our human relationships and in the attractiveness of our community.”
In other words, how effective the gospel message is, can be, at least in part, tied to our relationship with each other.
Do you think that, perhaps, Jesus was serious when He declared, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another”?