Sunday: 19th May, 2019
Reference text :John 13:31-35
John 13:35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Often, the different renditions of scripture may throw you off as some contexts seem to present contrasting information. However, a closer look enables one to realise how the different aspects of a subject are captured using different sentence constructions and word choices. The text in John’s Gospel today is one of such where the ending is rendered ‘if you love one another’ in some versions and ‘if you have love for one another’ in others.
Therefore, the question beckons ‘is there a difference?’ We may not have to place a finger on a definite difference, but there is evidence of some. ‘To love one another’ is a call to action, an invitation to do something’; while ‘to have love for one another’ seems more like a state of being. Hence, even though we see love as a verb and as an abstract noun, which represents a difference, we also notice the complementary role of two statements, of the action and the state of being.
Beloved, ‘To have something’ is to posses it alongside the desire and ability to also offer it to others. As in ‘I have time or I have the skill’. So it could be said that without having love for others, we cannot truly love them because if our state of being is not one of love, the action of love will have no source from which to emanate. We often say ‘I love you’ , but I believe we should also be able to say ‘I have love for you’ because even at a first hearing, the two statements, though complementary; differ in depth.