The New Command!
Scripture reading for May 24th: John 13:31-14:14
“My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for Me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come.” “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:33-35)
Jesus knew that after Judas left to betray Him, the final hours had come. He reaffirmed to these faithful men that He was going away and that where He was going, they could not come now. He would be going to the cross, and willingly laying down His life. They had other things to do before they would also give their lives for the Gospel!
Jesus was emphatic about a new commandment that He was giving to them. The act of keeping this commandment would particularly mark them as Jesus’ disciples. It was not an optional requirement, but something that they must do as His disciples. This command was all about showing love for one another. Love is the fulfillment of God’s laws. Jesus was setting an example for them in showing love by laying His life down for them as well as for the sins of the whole world. He commanded them to learn to give this kind of self-sacrificing love to each other.
When we love someone with God’s love, we desire the very best for them. We consider them better than ourselves and act for their highest good. We speak truth to them and would never steal from them or lie to them. We would never stay angry with them without resolving the differences. We would never covet their property, power, or position, but would rejoice with them in the good things God had done for them. We would seek to bless them and encourage them to be all that God wants them to be and help them with needs. We would not compete with them, but would seek to help them be the best.
This kind of love marked Jesus Christ as the Son of God. It is the Father’s heart that His children have this love for each other. Do all men know that you are Jesus’ disciple because of your extravagant love?