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.
At the beginning of chapter 13 John wrote these words: 1 However, before the feast of the Passover, Jesus, knowing that His time (hour) had come that He should leave this world and go to the Father, He loved His own in this world, He loved them to the end.
In other words Jesus never lessoned the amount of love He had for the disciples.
The intensity of His love for them never dimmed.
Now Jesus commands His disciples to love each other in the same way as He loved them. This is the newness of His command.
The love of Christian believers for their brothers and sisters must be the same as the love with which Jesus loves each of us. The reason for this is so that the world will see that we are genuinely the followers of Jesus.
Loving each other in the same way as Jesus loves us is the evangelistic power house of the church. There are many ways in which we can proclaim the gospel of Jesus, but the greatest way is by our loving one another in the same way as Jesus loves us.
Paul wrote to the Corinthians about the most excellent way, and he said this:
There are three things that will endure—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love – 1 Corinthians 13.13 (NLT).
It is one of the saddest facts in the history of the church that love for one another has fallen a long way short of loving in the way that Jesus loves us.
Throughout the centuries there has been hatred between believers, instead of love; there has been intolerance, instead of love; there has been disharmony, instead of love. Attempts to remain faithful to the true doctrine of the gospel have often led to Christians persecuting and killing one another.
Disagreements and division will happen, because we are human, even as Paul had a sharp disagreement with Barnabas. However, we must always hold before ourselves the New command of Jesus to love one another in the same way as He loves us.