A New Command
November 13, 2020
So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. John 13:34 NLT
The second is equally important: “Love your neighbor as yourself. No other commandment is greater than these.” Mark 12:31 NLT
Jesus came to give eternal life to everyone who believes in and follows Him. He also came to give us a new way to live, a life of love.
He demonstrated this new way in all His actions. He came for the poor, the sick, the rejected, the disenfranchised, the sinners. In fact, the Pharisee’s hatred of Him was rooted in large measure in the fact that he associated with the people they would NEVER entertain. The Pharisees were the elite, the ones the old system applauded. He should have been eating with them. But Jesus went to the homes of the last, lowest, and least. He called them friends—even became known as the friend of sinners. He touched lepers, the physically untouchable. He ate with the tax collectors, a special breed of “deplorables” to the Jews. Everything about what He did spoke love, acceptance, and hope.
His words were the same: “Come to me.” “Neither do I condemn you.” “You are worth more than many sparrows.” “Love your enemies. Do good to those who mistreat you.” Over and over He affirmed the way of undiluted love.
In fact, He was determined it would be the ongoing way of life and distinguishing feature of His kingdom. When a young man, well educated in the former way of life and pleasing God displayed through the Old Testament laws, asked Jesus which of the many commands were the most important, Jesus spoke without hesitation. The first was to love God with all of your being. Then he said, “The second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself. No other commandment is greater than these” (Mark12:31).
We are all fascinated with last words. People say what is most important when they know they are dying. On the night Jesus went to trial and then death, He was so determined that His disciples know this. He said, “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other” (John 13:24). How has He loved you? How does He love you? How does that compare with how you are loving the world?
- Jesus’ words about loving each other were not a hope or a suggestion. In His own words, He called them a command. As a Jesus-follower, we have no option. Pray about your heart and obedience.