A New Commandment
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
The evening was filled with emotion and every gesture took on special meaning and enduring significance. Jesus prepared the disciples for the moment of His betrayal, arrest and crucifixion and wished to impart to them as much as possible in their remaining moments together. He had washed their feet, instituted the “Lord’s Supper” and then revealed that one of their own would betray Him. The foundations of their lives were being shaken. They desperately tried to comprehend what was happening.
Breaking the silence, Jesus spoke, and said: “I’m giving you a new commandment.” Immediately their attention was arrested and raptly focused on what He was about to say. After three years, at the very end He was about to give them something brand new. Jesus declared to them: “You are to love one another as I love you and this shall be the authenticating mark of your discipleship.” This command was new and radical. They were to love each other with the depth and sincerity as He was about to demonstrate on the cross.
This command is not “new” to us. It is as old as the Gospel. It is, however, as radical as it was when it was first given. Read the text and allow the enormity of Christ’s command to wash over you and sink into your soul.
The Church has many critics who mercilessly pick at an apparent inability to fulfill this command. It is ironic how lovelessly lovelessness is attacked. But how can we successfully obey Christ and love one another as He has loved us?
First, we must know that apart from the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives it is impossible. But when a person has had a genuine and ongoing experience with Christ, they cannot do otherwise. Second, love is an act of will. We chose to love. Someone once asked how you eat an elephant. The answer provided: “one bite at a time.”
Let’s make small steps at first to obey the Lord in this regard. It is easy to love those you worship with regularly. Stretch yourself by warmly greeting fellow Bold Faith wristband wearers who go to other churches. When you see them, look them in the eye and greet them as fellow lovers of Jesus.
Pray for these churches:
Camp Selah Ministries
Crossroad Bible Church of Sherwood
World Harvest Assembly of God