Sunday, April 24, 2016

John 13:31-35 -- Mandate to Love

"A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; 
 as I have loved you, that ye also love one another."  
John 13:34

Image courtesy of Pixabay
Jesus and eleven of the Twelve were walking from the Upper Room to Gethsemene on the night he gave himself up for us.  Judas was off making arrangements to betray Jesus with a token of love, a kiss. They had all been celebrating the Passover.  Jesus had instituted the Lord's Supper and washed his disciples' feet.  As this group of friends walked, they talked and sang hymns.  Soon they would arrive at the Garden, where Jesus would pray, "not my will, but thine, be done" (Luke 22:42).  He would be arrested and spend the night being tortured in mock trials before his crucifixion the next day. As they walked along, Jesus told several parables and summarized his teaching and ministry.

The New Commandment is the core and apex of the Gospel.  By precept and example, Jesus had demonstrated love and had elevated the Old Testament commandments about love for God and neighbor to the most prominent place among all commandments. On this night of his betrayal and suffering, he fulfilled the meaning of the ancient commandments, bringing them together in his relationship with all who love him.  Our mandate is to love as Christ loves us.  This way of living out the commandments to love, Jesus revealed, would be the mark by which everyone would be able to distinguish his true followers.

Loving as we have been loved makes love personal.  We each have experienced something we are expected to faithfully share with each other and the world.  Together, our relationships formed through the bond of this shared authority reflect God's infinite love for all.  Our commission is to love everyone into fellowship with Christ.


  1. A good word and an excellent reminder.

  2. Thanks! You are certainly a great example of how this is to be lived out.