The Most Important Message of the Gospel

By Deidra Riggs

March 3, 2018

“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.”

John 13:34-35


Have you ever heard a sermon, or a speech, or read a book in which the person said something like this: “If you only take one message away today, I want it to be this…”? And then they proceed to tell the one, most important point of all.

People sitting side by side, overlooking a community.Whenever I consider the most important message of the Gospel, I am always brought back to love.

On that very last Passover, after Judas departed to close the deal, Jesus wanted to be sure the disciples knew the most important message of all: Love.

No matter how many miracles they might perform, or how big the church might grow, or how many people they might baptize or visit in prison, none of that would mark them as disciples of Jesus. These things weren’t radical to the mind of Christ. And, once Jesus was no longer with them, they wouldn’t be considered radical to passersby.

What would be astounding to a watching world would be the love that Christ’s disciples displayed for each other.

To make sure his point was clear, Jesus added, “As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” This is no ordinary love we’re talking about. The Gospel is founded on a love that holds no grudges, exempts no one, imposes no pre-conditions, makes no excuses. This love propelled Christ to the cross, and it will guide you to uncomfortable places as well.

Radical love is the heart of the Gospel. This kind of love is how the world knows we are disciples of Christ.

Something to Think About:

To what uncomfortable places has love led you? Where would you be without the radical love the Gospel teaches about?

Something to Do:

Write a list of all the people who have loved you. Consider how you might pass that love on to others.


Lord, make me a radical lover. Let my prayers, worship, service, and acts of kindness be rooted first in love. Let love be my priority, just as it is yours. Amen.


Explore more at the Theology of Work Project online commentary:
Servant Leadership (John 13:1-20)

Deidra Riggs

Writer & Author

Deidra Riggs is a national speaker, an editor, and the founder and host of Jumping Tandem: The Retreat, a bi-annual event for writers, authors, and entrepreneurs. She is a storyteller who creates safe space for navigating...

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