John 13.34-35 cont.
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.
The New command that Jesus issued is different in this sense: Jesus commands that we love one another in the same way that He loves us. Prior to the New command there was the command to love our neighbour as ourselves.
The New command goes further than that. The New command of Jesus requires a higher standard of love. The New command of Jesus is to love one another with His divine love.
Since Jesus commands us to love one another in the same way as He loves us, we must look to see how He loves us.
Jesus loves us sacrificially, that is He loves us in a totally unselfish way. Such love is demonstrated in His laying down His life on the cross to pay the price of our sin. John echoed this when he wrote his first letter:
This is the way that we have known love, that He (Jesus) laid down His soul for us, and we ought to lay down our souls for our brothers – 1 John 3.16.
Not only is this the way we must love one another, it is also the way that husbands must love their wives – Ephesians 5.25: Husbands must love their wives, in the same way that Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it.
Perhaps we all have a long way to go in loving one another as Jesus loves us. No doubt we can all progress further into loving one another as Jesus loves us by daily accepting His love, and daily realizing just how much He loves us.
It may have been that some of the disciples thought that Jesus loved them more than some of the others. However, the love that Jesus has for us is the same for everyone. In the love of Jesus we are all His favourites, no matter where we come from, what colour our skin, or what position we may hold in this world. He does not love our sin. However, because He loves us He will forgive and cleanse us if we repent of our sin and turn to Him.