Friday, June 27, 2014

Upgraded Commandment

John 13:34-35 Iphone5 store australia reuters People get excited when something new comes out. I can tell that it is true with iPhones. When the first generation iPhone came out, everybody wanted to have one. Now it iPhone 5c had been out for over a year and Apple is already announced the coming of iPhone 6. Many people still insanely excited about having the latest iPhone. In John 13:34-35, Jesus in his darkest hours, anticipating his suffering and a violent death on the cross told about his love and his coming death on the cross. I bet the disciples were expecting something else from Jesus than giving them a new commandment. “I give you a new commandment - to love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. Everyone will know by this that you are my disciples - if you have love for one another.” It is time for the disciples to get excited because Jesus was giving them a new commandment. We are supposed to get excited with this new love commandment from the Lord. What makes this commandment new? Isn’t the command to love is as old as the Old Testament? Here we will look at the reasons what make this commandment new and different from other love commandment.

From loving our neighbours to loving one another

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. The command to love is not new. Jesus had already taught that the whole Law of Moses was summed up in two great commandments in Mark 12:29-31 And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, "Which commandment is the most important of all?" Jesus answered, "The most important is, ’Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ’You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” In John 13 the focus is upon the community of believers that Jesus will establish before he leaves. He knows that in order for the community to be strong and successful it should have a guiding principle. In order for Christianity to grow big they should follow the new commandment to love one another. It is true with the church. During the early years of Christianity, the Christians have always had tremendous impact on the people around them. They said that Christians love each other even before they know each other.” Is not just about loving our neighbors as yourself but we should love one another. It means loving other Christians and our church mates more than we love our neighbors and ourselves. We should not only love one another but we also should love like Jesus loved.

From like loving ourselves to loving like Jesus

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another just as I have loved you; you also are to love one another. (ESV) The love that Jesus is calling for is not about not hating one another. It is not just about being patient with one another. This command is about being an active, self-sacrificial love just like Jesus loved the people. Jesus exemplified this love when he declared to the disciples that greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. This is the kind of love that He wanted us to demonstrate for our brothers and sisters in our church. How do we show our love to one another? We may not be able to love like Jesus but we can at least show our love to our brothers and sisters in Christ by praying that God will bless them, by doing good for them and by overlooking their faults and by forgiving their sins. On our own, it is impossible to love one another like Jesus loved us but we should ask the Holy Spirit to empower us to love like him.


By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." This love that Jesus mentioned is new in three ways: (1) There is a new focus. We are still to love our neighbor, but now this love is directed toward “one another. (2) We are no longer to love others like we love ourselves but we love just like Jesus loved. (3) This love makes the world realizes that Jesus is real and that we are his followers.[1] Love enables “all people” to recognize we accept Jesus. Here is a strong testimony to the world. All people will know we are Jesus’ disciples by our love. Christians will never be known by the beautiful building where we worship, they will not be known by what we hate, we will not be known for what we strongly believed (although that is very important), we will not be known by how good our music team is. All people will know that we are Christian if we love one another. If we love like Jesus loved us. Photo from NDTV Gadgets

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