A new commandment I give to you
John 13:34-35
Do you look like a Disciple?
Published September 2nd, 2017
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Main point summary
Devotional Thoughts
Main point summary
Love your fellow Christian Brothers and Sisters
John 13:34-35
A new commandment I give to you,
A new commandment I am telling you to do now,
that you love one another;
that you love your fellow Christian brothers and sisters ;
as I have loved you,
just like how I humble myself to love you all,
that you also love one another.
in the same way, you also love one another.
By this all will know that you are My disciples,
This will result in showing to the world that you are followers of Jesus,
if you have love for one another.”
if you have love for one another.
Jesus repeats the command again. in verse 34c. Jesus is not being naggy. I believe he is repeating it to show the importance of this command and trying to drive the main point to love one another
Jesus essentially repeats himself again. But this time, he doesn't just talk about the command. The focus is now not on the command. The focus is now Jesus trying to show the result of that command. What will happen. You show that you are a follower of Jesus. You show that you are a true disciple of Jesus. You want to prove, you want to show that you are a Christians, you are a believer? Love one another! This is result is conditional on you loving one another
In the immediate context, Jesus is speaking to his disciples to love one another. The" one another" here is most probably in the sense of among the disciples. This is a call to love our fellow Christian brothers and sisters.
Whats so new about this command? It's new because not only is this a call to love our neighbours. Jesus now redefines the whole definition of "love" by even saying the manner to love. And he compares that way we should with how Jesus loves us. It is a radical shift from the very shallow acts of love and kindness that we show, to a humble and deep way to show love to our fellow Christian brothers and sisters.
Devotional Thoughts
Introduction Jesus starts by saying "a new commandment I give to you". One quick inspection of the proceeding verse shows that this "commandment" isn't really that new. This "new command" that Jesus is apparently exhorting His disciples to obey is very much similar to the command to "love your neighbours as yourself". So what's up with that Jesus, who you trying to kid? So why does Jesus say this is a "new commandment"? Because Jesus redefines the whole meaning of the word "love". 1. The New Commandment In verse 34, we see Jesus exhorting his followers to "love one another". Jesus is calling his disciples to love each other therefore we as disciples of Jesus should also love another, we ought to love our fellow Christian brothers and sisters. We are all very familiar with this. Growing up in church, or even being in church for quite a while, we have been taught that and we know we need to love our fellow people in Church, whether they smelly or they ugly. So what's so "new" about that? As I've said, it is because Jesus redefines the whole meaning of "love". We might be tempted to take "love our fellow Christian brothers and sisters" simply to mean say 'hi' to them when you see them, drop them a few text here and there. Ask them how's life and simply say "okay I will pray for you" to end the conversation. We might be tempted to take "love one another" in a very shallow manner. But Jesus redefines that. "as I have loved you, that you also love one another". Jesus here is showing us the manner which we ought to love one another by way of a comparison. Not some lame good moral comparison but a super difficult one. "as I have loved you". There! Here is the game changer! Here is the new command! Initially, we were taught "love your neighbours as yourself ", now Jesus says "love your neighbours as I have loved you ". This is a total radical shift of the way to love. No longer is loving mere shallow acts of kindness. Now "loving one another" means the radical, selfless, humble acts of love that we ought to show. In the earlier part of this chapter Jesus washed the feet of his disciples and I think when Jesus said "as I have loved you", no doubt the picture of Jesus washing their feet was on the disciple's minds. This is not easy! But this is because such love can only be possible as it is the fruit of a disciple of Jesus. 2. The testimony of our alliegence to Christ In verse 35, we see the fruit, we see the result of loving one another as how Jesus loved us. "By this all will know are My disciples". There are 2 things we can see. 1) How we love each other in church or how we treat each other in church is in itself a testimony of our allegiance and belonging to Christ as His disciple. Imagine how differently we will impact the world and how different the world would see the church when we do verse 34. How powerful would that be. What a wonderful testimony will that be! Just by looking at how we love others, the world will see Christ, people know that we are Christians. The questions as, do we look like that? Do we show that? When people come to our church, when people see us, so they say "wow yes those are Christ disciples". Or do we leave people with some ambiguity. Christ is preached even in the testimony of our action as we love one another. This is what the world needs to see, fellow Christian humbling themselves to love others and serve others selflessly because this is when our discipleship to Christ becomes evident to the world. 2) The second thing that we can imply is that such radical acts of love are only possible if you are a disciple of Jesus. Now, why would I come to such a conclusion? Because why else would the "all" also come to the same conclusion that "you are My disciples" in verse 35? The people attributes such radical acts of love to us being disciples of Jesus. The command to love as how Jesus loved us is tough! Yes it is, because this is only possible by the regenerating blood of Christ that change us. And when this change happens, it is radical and people can see it, people can see how differently we love, as how Jesus loved us. Conclusion Jesus issues a new command to His disciples. Though it may not seem like a very new command, it is new because the command is a radical shift on how we ought to love our fellow Christian brothers and sisters. It doesn't just require us to love with mere shallow acts of kindness, but rather, with self-humbling and radical acts of kindness. By this, by our love for one another, this is a testimony to them that our allegiance is to Christ as His disciples. By our love for one another, Christ is revealed, we make our discipleship to Christ evident.
Hui Wen
Just by looking at how we love others, the world will see Christ
This is so powerful! Love comes in actions and our actions will always speak louder than words. It's so important to not just love people outside of the church but first demonstrate what Christ has done with our fellow brothers and sisters. Wow, if people were attracted to church because of the way we love. May God's love transform us to love others radically such that others see Christ through our actions!
Amos Ou
Super sobering read ! Thx yy
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.