Jesus' Command to Love

In John 13: 34-35 Jesus told the apostles, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

The command to love is not a new one in the Bible. In fact it has been given early on in the book of Leviticus. In chapter 19, the Lord gave Moses  the command, "Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself."

So, why did Jesus call his command a new one? This is a good question and my guess may be wrong but I want to share it to you.

Jesus' command in John 13 in all respect is not new. It is very similar to that given by the Lord in Leviticus 19. But if we examine it more closely, Jesus' command of love calls us to love one another as Jesus loved us. In Leviticus, we are called to love our neighbors as we love ourself. Now, that's a big difference.

How did Jesus show His love for us? Romans 5:8 tells us,   "but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Jesus' love for us-- agape-- is an unconditional love that goes even as far as death. He loves us so much that He gave His life up on the cross to become the final scarifice for the sins of humanity past, present and future.

We are called to love like how Jesus loved. We are called to unconditionally love one another. It is difficult in our fallen state, but Jesus commands us nonetheless. Can we do it? On our own, no. But with the grace of God, yes. We are to love one another for this is the mark by which people will recognize who we truly are-- followers of Jesus Christ.

We love our brothers and sisters within the Church and love non-believers. Let our life be the reflection of the Gospel to them so that if ever they find words insufficient, our actions and our life may be used by God to convict them.

I am amazed with God's love. How I long to love like He does. :) 
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