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Devotional Day 4: Jesus’ New Commandment

Day 4: Jesus’ New Commandment
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.  John 13:34-35 NIV

It was the final evening Jesus would have with His disciples before His was crucified. As they shared the historic Passover meal, Jesus announced the long-promised new covenant.1 Then He gave them a new commandment.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

In keeping the pattern of previous covenants God had given, the new covenant and new commandment were to be inextricably linked to one another. The power of the new covenant would be demonstrated by the love those who believed in Jesus would have for one another—a love that had its origin in the loving union of God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The heart of the command is that we “love one another.” The Greek word for “one another”—allelon—implies mutuality and reciprocity. It is a love that is exchanged between those that share the bond of faith in Jesus Christ.

The new command differs from “loving your neighbor as yourself” or “loving your enemies.” In these commands, there was no implied mutuality or reciprocity. But for those who embraced the new covenant and new commandment, this mutual loved becomes the mark of authenticity for all to see.

“By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

We are commanded to love as Jesus loved us. He laid aside His life—ultimately embracing death on a cross—out of obedience to His Father and love for us. The secret of His obedience and love was the love He received from the Father.

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.”2

Jesus lived in the Father’s love for Him. He had known that love from eternity3 and now displayed it on earth. It was this love that flowed freely from Him to us. Now He instructs us to love one another with this same love we have received from him.

“As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

Our obedience to this command is no longer dependent on our finite ability to love others. Rather, our obedience is empowered by the infinite resource of God’s love for us!4

-Gaylord Enns, Chico, CA
Love Revolution Network