“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.”
John 13: 34-35
In the Book of Leviticus, we see where God gave Moses the standards the Israelites would keep to live a Holy Life. Chapter 19:18 says, “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.” Therefore, “Love one another”, was not a new Command, it was a new command from Jesus. What Jesus was saying is this; “Love one another as “I” have loved you.” This was a new level of Love.
There were many instances where the Israelites were complaining, and quarreling and dividing into Groups, ie Pharisees, Sadducees, etc. and today, Christians dividing into Protestants and Catholics, with over 600 different denominations – some being very non accepting of the other, so Jesus is saying: “I give you a new command to Love one another, as I have loved you. He wants His church, His body to be as one; He wants us to love as one as we represent Him. By His words and actions He said, “I have loved you unconditionally. I accept you for who you are; accept each other for who each of you are.” He said,” I am about to lay down my life for you to prove my love for you, prove your love to one another by your actions. Help each other when it is not convenient. Help each other even if it is hard to do. Consider others welfare beyond your own, and do not be self seeking. Show patience and kindness to those who have not shown it to you, and keep no record of wrongs. Love does not boast, and does not allow pride in self to lead; it always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
When Jesus says, “Love one another as I have loved you; by this everyone will know that you are my disciples.”, these things, these acts, and these attitudes of love are brought to mind. They are given by Christ, and are expressed in many places by those who wrote down the Word, and in particular in 1 Corinthians 13. They set the Christian apart. As we love others like this, we are loving the way He does. As we love like this we are clearly showing that we are His disciples. We are clearly showing He is in us; loving through us, giving us the spirit of power to love as He does. This kind of love comes through walking in the Spirit. In the flesh it shall not be, but in the Spirit, it shall be done.