Thoughts on today’s Moravian Texts…
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.”
I found it really odd today, reading this very familiar passage again. I never really caught it before but Jesus is coming to the end of His three year ministry as a man here on earth and here He says that He is giving His disciples a “NEW” command which is to love one another. I thought to myself as I read this, “Why does He say this? He has been saying this all along.”
But to my surprise, when I did a word search of “LOVE” in the Gospels Jesus tells His disciples to love their enemies, to love God, and to love their neighbors (the last two of which are what all the Law and the prophets hang on) but Jesus never, until this passage in John 13 commands His disciples to love each other. Why now?
I think because up until now He had been with them and His presence and His love is what bonded them together. Now, He is leaving, He has just predicted that Judas is going to betray Him and in a couple of verses He will tell Peter that Peter will deny Him, not once, but three times before tomorrow morning. These events could prove to tear them apart and undo everything they’ve been building.
So, Jesus tells them: all of this, everything we’ve been doing, is about LOVE. Not just loving your enemies, though you should, not just loving your neighbor, but loving each other. All of the teaching, all of the miracles, all of the healing has been about one thing – Love.
If I leave and you all turn on each other, then it’s all been for nothing. But if you love each other first, then people will really recognize that you are Mine.
Not doctrine, not creed, not contemporary or traditional – LOVE is how we are to be known as Jesus’ disciples.
My encouragement for us today is that we would follow this “new” command and love one another, plain and simple.
Let me start, to all of you who are reading this today, I love you, and there is nothing you can do about it!