We hate some persons because we do not know them;
and will not know them because we hate them.
Charles Caleb Colton
In John 13:35, we find Jesus instructing His disciples, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” It would be easy to assume that the Lord was instructing each disciple to love the others who were gathered in that room, or perhaps, to love every follower of Christ, whether they were present or not. However, in this passage of Scripture, Jesus had just informed the disciples of a traitor in their midst; one that would soon betray Him. Were the disciples supposed to love him as well?
Judas was obviously not a true disciple, but he was amongst the other men when Jesus commanded them all to love one another; there was no “everyone but Judas” clause. There is a great lesson to be learned here, one that is taught in many passages of Scripture, including Matthew 5:44, wherein Jesus admonished, “….Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which spitefully use you, and persecute you.”
It isn’t very difficult to love others when you know them, and they love you back, but loving someone that hates you can be quite difficult; especially if they hate you for no apparent reason. Nonetheless, Jesus forbids us to repay hatred with hatred, no matter the circumstance.
Dear reader, there is little doubt that in today’s cold, impersonal society, some folks will hate each other for no reason other than the one stated by Mr. Colton. It is all the more urgent, therefore, that you love others as Jesus intended. And that includes every ‘Judas’ in your life! Remember, there is no “everyone but Judas” clause in the Lord’s book.