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Daily Reading: 24th May 2015

John 13.33

34 A New commandment I give to you that you must love one another; just as I love you so you must also love one another.

35 In this way will all men know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.

God’s love for His people is at the heart of the Old Testament Covenant; also part of the covenant is God’s people loving their neighbours as themselves.

Jesus emphasized this when He was asked which is the greatest commandment.

His reply was to quote from two places in the Old Testament:

[29] “The most important is: Listen, Israel, The Lord our God is One.

And you shall love the Lord your God with the whole of your heart and with the whole of your soul and with the whole of your mind and with the whole of your strength.

[30] Secondly, you shall love your neighbour as yourself. There is no greater commandment than these.”

Verse 29 is a quote from Deuteronomy 6.4, and verse 30 comes from Leviticus 19.18.

Love for His people is what motivated God to enter into a covenant with His people, and He commanded that love of neighbours was also to be an essential part of that covenant.

God had shown His love for them by delivering them from their oppressive masters, the Egyptians.

God has demonstrated His love for us by delivering us from the oppression of satan.

God demonstrated His love for His people by feeding them in the wilderness, and giving them water to drink.

The promise of Jesus is that all who come to Him will never be hungry or thirsty again.

God showed His love for His people by bringing them through the Jordan in full flood, and on dry ground.

The love of Jesus for us is seen in how He provides a way for us that may seem impossible to us.

Jesus and the disciples were celebrating the feast of Passover, a feast that remembered these great demonstrations of God’s love.

We have seen that the disciples thought that Judas had been sent out by Jesus to buy some bread, and we have seen that this bread may have been given to the poor, who could not afford bread for the festivities. If so, it was a demonstration of the command to love their neighbours as themselves.

It is into this scene that Jesus introduces the New Commandment.

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