WILLS POINT, TX – Gospel for Asia (GFA World) founded by Dr. K.P. Yohannan – Bishop Danny Yohannan talks about the power of to love others through the supernatural ability of Jesus loving through us.
What have you found is the most effective way to share Christ with other people?
Let me tell you a story. The other day, it was raining outside, so my family and I decided to go to In-N-Out for dinner. On rainy days they always give the kids who are there for free hot chocolate.
I’m always interested to see what Bible verses they put on their food containers—they have verses on the fry holder, the burger wrapper, the milkshake cup, everything.
So I looked to see what verse was on the hot chocolate cup, and it was John 13:34–35. That verse says,
“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.”
This is amazing! Even at a burger restaurant we are being reminded to love one another. This verse is one of the most important passages in Scripture for a lot of reasons. Jesus is telling us the whole world will know we are His followers if we simply love one another. This is the greatest witness we could give to other people—and, I believe, the most effective way to share Christ.
In one way, it’s far greater than literature and apologetics and programs, because it’s life begetting life. Now, don’t take that to the extreme and think that there’s no need to do anything else; that’s not true either. But we can’t really be an effective witness in our marriages, in our families, in our work or in anything else unless we are doing it with this heart and mindset.
Can you clarify for us exactly what it might look like to “love one another” in the way Jesus was talking about?
I think a lot of times we read this passage and 1 Corinthians 13 and others, and we think, Okay, that’s the good Christian thing to do, so we’ll just kind of try to be a little nicer and maybe do a random act of kindness here and there. That’s good, but that’s not the full picture of what Jesus is talking about here.
You can be nice, have good manners and everything else without knowing the Lord at all. I know some very nice nonbelievers, and some of them are better-behaved than other Christians I know.
But what Jesus is talking about here, which we maybe don’t fully realize, is that it’s the same thing He prayed in John 17: that His disciples would be united in oneness as He and the Father are one. The love within the Holy Trinity is an example of perfect love and submission.
Think about the Incarnation for a second. God became man. A lot of us have grown up believing that the main reason Christ came was just to be the sacrifice on the cross, so the Father could kill the perfect lamb in order to appease His wrath brought about by our sin. But that perspective is a bit off.
The true reason for Christ’s coming was because of His perfect love. It was completely in love that the Father sent His son; in love that Jesus went to the cross; and in love that He took on death and healed us of our disease, which had separated us from our relationship with the Father.
When Adam and Eve sinned, God could easily have re-created mankind. But He didn’t do that. Instead, out of complete love for us, the Father sent His Son to make a way for our healing and restoration with Him.
This is the kind of self-sacrificial love Jesus was talking about when He said, “As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” It’s a deeper love that He is calling us to walk in.
It sounds impossible for any of us to reach that standard—am I right?
What Jesus is calling us to do is impossible in our own human strength, because what Jesus is saying is for us to love one another with His supernatural ability so that others will see something different than what is in the world.
Christian love is not about being a “better version” of the world’s type of love—being a more-behaved person or a better husband, wife or friend—though we are called to do those things. It is something that is so different from the world that it will capture people’s hearts and eyes when they encounter it.We know from history that Christians would often gather in the catacombs or in houses, and they would live out what Saint James said in his epistle: “Confess your sins to one another” (James 5:16). They would get together in groups and start confessing their sins aloud. Can you imagine what that must have been like and how much love and trust that would take?
If you give away sensitive information about yourself—like the sins you’ve committed—they can take that information and use it against you. But the love among these Christians was so strong that they could trust one another that much and confess their sins openly to the whole group. That’s incredible and shows that it’s not impossible.
This kind of deep love for one another only happens through an internal change, something on the inside that takes place by the power of the Spirit as we submit to His will.
It is not automatic, but as we are purposeful in seeking the Lord, we learn more of what it means, and we grow into it.
What are some practical steps we can take to move toward that kind of supernatural love?
There are many practical things we can do. In fact, most of the epistles were written as corrective information for the Church about how they lived their lives together in love for one other. If you look at the epistles, you’ll see it is not mainly theology, though that is there, but it is basically the Apostles correcting what was happening in the life of the community of the Church.
How often the Apostles told us, “Fight for unity,” “Love one another,” “Get the two people to talk together,” “Stop fighting.” These are all instructions for us to follow so that we can grow in what it means to love one another.
But like I said before, we won’t get anywhere if we do it in our own strength.
My encouragement is to turn to the Lord for His help. Ask Him. He is faithful to answer. You can even pray something simple, like, “Lord, I want to know You more. Help me to love people like You do.”
We must recognize that this is something we can trust the Lord to do in our lives. It’s not about looking back and feeling bad about areas where we have failed and just hoping that we will change going forward. There is a time and place for us to reflect on wrong things in our lives and seek to change them, but when it comes to loving like Christ, we have to trust the Lord will do His work in us as we seek Him with all our hearts.
God will give us the grace for that. As we grow in this, our very lives will proclaim the love of God to the world, whether we are at work or at the grocery store or the gas station or anywhere else. I pray God will encourage your hearts as you seek to truly love one another.
In this way, the world will know that we belong to Him.
 See 1 Corinthians 1:10, Ephesians 4:3, Philippians 1:27
 See Romans 12:10, Ephesians 5:2, Hebrews 13:1
 See Philippians 4:2–3
 See Galatians 5:15