Skip to content

John 13:34-35 Will they know we are Christians?

I just had a visit from the Jehovah’s Witnesses. (You know if you’re nice to them once, they keep coming back, but if they talk to me they have to listen to me too.) Today’s topic of conversation was The Marks of a True Christian. What makes someone a true Christian, and how can we know it? I don’t think that we can really know for sure, because the state of a person’s soul is between that person and God, but I do think that there should definitely be some evidence to make us suspect. By evidence I don’t mean where they go to church, whether they wear a cross around their neck, how they dress or how they cut their hair. Anyone could profess to be a Christian if these were the only requirements.

Romans 10:9 makes it clear that you will be saved if you believe in your heart and declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and that God raised Him from the dead. John 3:16 says that whoever believes in Jesus will have everlasting life. So that’s what makes you a Christian. But how does the rest of the world know that you are one?

In John 13:34, Jesus told His disciples that He was giving them a new commandment—to love one another. Now the commandment to love was not new. It had been around since the days of Moses. (Leviticus 19:18) But the old commandment was to love your neighbour as yourself. Now Jesus was telling the disciples to love each other as He loved them. These were the disciples that argued about who was greatest, (Mark 9:33-37, Luke 9:46-48, Luke 22:24-27) and who would sit at Christ’s side in heaven. (Mark 10:35-40) They didn’t really have the servant attitude that Christ demonstrated. Shortly before Jesus said this, He had washed His disciples feet, and told them He wanted them to do the same. (John 13:3-17, John 13:14-15) Shortly afterward He gave up His life for them and for us. (John 19:30) That’s quite an example to follow, but if we do, others will know we are Christians by our love. (John 13:35)

Can you be saved and not be loving? Can you be loving and not be saved? Yes, and yes. But if we have a personal relationship with Jesus, we are encouraged and commanded to love one another. And if we love each other the way that Christ loved, people are going to notice, and wonder why. Does that mean being nice to the Jehovah’s Witnesses when they come to the door so that they can see the love of Jesus too? For me it does.

6 thoughts on “John 13:34-35 Will they know we are Christians?

  1. Mom

    You're so right.
    So many Christians fail to show the love of Jesus to others. We are all guilty from time to time. Thanks for the wakeup call.

  2. Rowena

    The words in John 3:16 are an excellent way for a person to figure out whether they've found a good Church, I believe. I used to be a Jehovah's Witness actually and we were taught that Christ was one of the Archangels (Michael or Gabriel) and we have to pray directly to Jehovah, not through Christ as an intercessor.

    And yes, if we are Christian the fruit of the spirit should be evident, and the greatest is love!

    1. LC

      That's interesting Rowena. Thanks for sharing that. When I was talking to the JWs the other day, the one asked what I thought of how we would know someone was a Christian. Are all the people who go to church Christian? I said that we couldn't really know for sure because a true Christian is one who has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. He didn't argue with me. What I can't figure out is if they read the same Bible I read, how can they not see that Jesus is the whole reason that we are allowed access to God. I'd be interested to know sometime, if you're willing to tell me, how you made the transition from JW to Jesus. What made you change your views? If you'd rather not make it public, you could send me an e-mail to lc {at} memosfromgod {dot} com.

Comments are closed.