A New Way, a New “Must Do”

February 11, 2019

“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

Mark Twain was asked about difficulty in understanding the Bible. He said, “The parts I don’t understand don’t bother me much. It’s the parts I do understand that cause me problems.” If we were completely honest, we would all have to own that. Jesus was very straightforward about the things that were vital. He used words like “command” and “must.” No ambiguity there.

The new command straight from his heart and mouth was “Love one another.” The dictionary says that a command is a direct instruction from an authority. If we call Jesus our Lord, we have no option but to surrender to His authority in our lives. He says this is a command—not an option, request, or hope. It is an order to be willingly carried out by His followers.

He specifies what the love MUST look like. It’s not fickle, demanding, or non-consequential. It is costly—we have the example for it. We are to love others the way He has loved us. Think about it. What words would you use to describe the way Jesus has loved you? How has He shown and proved His love for you?

When we love unreservedly the people around us the way Jesus has loved us, we fulfill His command, and we prove to the world that He is who He says He was, and we are His followers. We say we pray for the world. That’s good, but even more important is that we truly love these people with a Jesus-kind of love. It’s the proof and the magnetic draw.

  • Identify a group of people or person you find hard to love and show mercy toward.
  • Pray for them and ask God to show you how to make your love for Him and them tangible and effective.