Readings for 5th Sunday in Easter
John 13:31-35; Revelation 21:1-7; Acts 11:1-18
Have you ever shown up to party and been surprised by who else had been invited?
Following the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the New Testament Church faced a new reality. For the first time, there was room in the Church for non-Jews who had not been circumcised according to Old Testament law. This divine revelation – that a Jewish Messiah had come to save the whole world! – sent shockwaves through the Church, and it took time for some of the Old Jerusalem leadership to be convinced (Acts 11).
John’s End of Days vision of a New Jerusalem coming down from heaven is yet another divine sign that the traditional lines separating God from humankind and humans from one another are erased through the sovereign lordship of Jesus Christ (Rev 21). Jesus’ command on Maundy Thursday that the disciples “love one another as I have loved you” should be understood as an all-inclusive love that doesn’t limit itself to certain preferred people or groups (John 13). God offers a new life through faith in Jesus Christ to all people without exception.